Clearing up confusion on the “NC wants to establish a state religion” nonsense

A brouhaha is erupting both in this state and nationwide over reports that the state of North Carolina wants to “establish a state religion” by way of a “bill” introduced in the state house. I’m hoping to clear up some confusion about this as our local Democrat-friendly mainstream media seems to want to throw misleading and in some cases false terms around with wild abandon, which further complicates attempts at setting the record straight.

To begin with, the “state” is not trying to “establish a religion.” A few well-intentioned but misguided GOP House members have filed a JOINT RESOLUTION (not a “BILL” – big difference) essentially stating that North Carolina – by way of the 10th Amendment –  does not have to “recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the state of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the state from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.” More from Charlotte station WBTV:

ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) – Just days after state lawmakers joined the fight for prayer in “the name of Jesus” before Rowan County Commission meetings, a local church has joined the fight and put its money where its mouth is.

Cornerstone Church has purchased the first of several billboards that show support for commissioners, urging them to continue to pray in the name of Jesus.

“It’s very exciting,” pastor Bill Godair told WBTV on Wednesday.  “I was thrilled about it.”

Godair had tried to donate $10,000 to the county’s legal fund to fight the ACLU, but when the church was told that may not be legally possible, Godair turned to the billboard idea.

On Monday, House Joint Resolution 494, called the Rowan County Defense of Religion Act of 2013, was filed by Republican Representatives Carl Ford and Harry Warren.

Warren represents Rowan County and is in his first term.

Ford represents Rowan and Cabarrus counties. He was on the Rowan County Commission when the American Civil Liberties Union first raised the objection to sectarian prayers at meetings more than a year ago.

The resolution, which would back county commissioner’s use of sectarian prayer in meetings, is co-sponsored by nine other Republican Representatives from across the state.

The proposed resolution says citizens should not lose First Amendment protection “by virtue of their appointment, election, contract, employment, or otherwise engagement,” and “The North Carolina General Assembly does not recognize federal court rulings which prohibit and otherwise regulate the state of North Carolina, its public schools, or any political subdivisions of the state from making laws respecting an establishment of religion.”

Let me respond to what these GOP reps are doing by saying this: While I can’t stand the ACLU, and I understand the GOP reps in question are trying to protect Rowan County Commissioners and their right to say a prayer before meetings, this is NOT the way to go about doing it. This is a local – and by local I mean COUNTY issue – and should have stayed there.   Let the Rowan Commissioners fight this thing in court – which they’ll have to do, thanks to the ACLU’s lawsuit.  Bringing this resolution before the state legislature has not only complicated the matter, but it’s also bought an unnecessary “outside” microscope to this state, which doesn’t need the distraction.  Furthermore, why bring forth a resolution that would have a strong probability of being struck down by the courts if it was an actual bill passed and signed into law by the Governor (which won’t happen – as resolutions don’t need the Gov’s signature)?  All in all, in spite of the “good intentions” involved here (and you know what they say about “good intentions”), this resolution should be yanked. Period.

Not surprisingly, this resolution has liberals almost literally foaming at the mouth with indignation and “outrage”, with many – including, unsurprisingly, some in our local media – incorrectly calling it a “bill” when it in fact is not a “bill” but a resolution – an important distinction, as explained below:

Resolutions and Bills

Difference between resolutions and bills.

This part is especially key: “a resolution has no life after the term of the session in which it is adopted.” Legislators are in the 2013-2014 legislative year. Their session is up in July. You do the math as to how long this resolution would stay in effect IF it even went anywhere, which it won’t.

I’ve asked the Charlotte Observer’s Andrew Dunn and WRAL’s Laura Leslie, who each did reports on this for their respective news outlets, to please update their stories to alert people as to the differences between a bill and a resolution. Dunn has said he would, but Leslie has yet to respond. I also asked Leslie to correct her report referring to this legislation as a “House Bill.”

What’s important to understand about all of this however, is that the goal was/is never to “establish a state religion.” This was done in response to the ACLU’s push back against the Rowan County Commissioners saying a Christian prayer before public forums, and the GOP legislators merely want them to be able to do that without the ACLU being able to do anything about it. The ACLU and the GOP in this state do not get along, as I suspect is the case in many other states. Even saying that, as noted earlier good intentions oftentimes make for bad law and this one should be shelved/dumped, but in this particular situation I wanted it to be noted how this all started and why, and to assure people that this state is *NOT* trying to establish an “official state religion”, contra to the hyperventilating at the Huffington Post, NBC News, and local news outlets like WRAL and the Observer who either outright imply or report the “seek to establish a state religion” allegation as fact.(1)

(1) I’d even go as far as to say if this WERE a bill and NOT just a resolution, and it happened to pass both the state house and senate, the Governor would very likely veto it.

Update – 6:30 PM: Forgot to mention a couple of notable responses to this “bill” from well-known local Democrats. First up, Chris Fitzsimon at the liberal NC Policy Watch in Raleigh, which describes itself as a “progressive, nonprofit and non-partisan public policy organization” (huh?):


And from Pam Spaulding, NC-based blogger at Pam’s House Blend (part of the nationally known Firedoglake blog), and whose specialty is gay rights issues:


“Teahadists”? “George Wallace” (raaaaaaacism!)? Stay classy, y’all.

Happy Easter: The Story of Jeremy’s Egg

Love this Easter story. Hope you enjoy it, too.

What Was In Jeremy’s Egg?
by Ida Mae Kempel

Jeremy was born with a twisted body, a slow mind and a chronic, terminal illness that had been slowly killing him all his young life. Still, his parents had tried to give him as normal a life as possible and had sent him to St. Theresa’s Elementary School.

At the age of 12, Jeremy was only in second grade, seemingly unable to learn. His teacher, Doris Miller, often became exasperated with him. He would squirm in his seat, drool and make grunting noises. At other times, he spoke clearly and distinctly, as if a spot of light had penetrated the darkness of his brain. Most of the time, however, Jeremy irritated his teacher.

One day, she called his parents and asked them to come to St. Teresa’s for a consultation. As the Forresters sat quietly in the empty classroom, Doris said to them, “Jeremy really belongs in a special school. It isn’t fair to him to be with younger children who don’t have learning problems. Why, there is a five-year gap between his age and that of the other students!”

Mrs. Forrester cried softly into a tissue while her husband spoke. “Miss Miller,” he said, “there is no school of that kind nearby. It would be a terrible shock for Jeremy if we had to take him out of this school. We know he really likes it here.”

Doris sat for a long time after they left, staring at the snow outside the window. Its coldness seemed to seep into her soul. She wanted to sympathize with the Forresters. After all, their only child had a terminal illness. But it wasn’t fair to keep him in her class. She had 18 other youngsters to teach and Jeremy was a distraction. Furthermore, he would never learn to read or write. Why waste any more time trying?

As she pondered the situation, guilt washed over her. “Oh God,” she said aloud, “here I am complaining when my problems are nothing compared with that poor family! Please help me to be more patient with Jeremy.”

From that day on, she tried hard to ignore Jeremy’s noises and his blank stares. Then one day he limped to her desk, dragging his bad leg behind him. “I love you, Miss Miller,” he exclaimed, loudly enough for the whole class to hear. The other children snickered, and Doris’ face turned red. She stammered, “Wh-Why, that’s very nice, Jeremy. Now please take your seat.”

Spring came, and the children talked excitedly about the coming of Easter. Doris told them the story of Jesus, and then to emphasize the idea of new life springing forth, she gave each of the children a large plastic egg. “Now,” she said to them “I want you to take this home and bring it back tomorrow with something inside that shows new life. Do you understand?” “Yes, Miss Miller!” the children responded enthusiastically – all except for Jeremy. He just listened intently, his eyes never left her face. He did not even make his usual noises. Had he understood what she had said about Jesus’ death and resurrection? Did he understand the assignment? Perhaps she should call his parents and explain the project to them.

That evening, Doris’ kitchen sink stopped up. She called the landlord and waited an hour for him to come by and unclog it. After that, she still had to shop for groceries, iron a blouse and prepare a vocabulary test for the next day. She completely forgot about phoning Jeremy’s parents.

The next morning, 19 children came to school, laughing and talking as they placed their eggs in the large wicker basket on Miss Miller’s desk. After they completed their Math lesson, it was time to open the eggs.

In the first egg, Doris found a flower. “Oh yes, a flower is certainly a sign of new life,” she said. “When plants peek through the ground we know that spring is here.” A small girl in the first row waved her arms. “That’s my egg, Miss Miller,” she called out.

The next egg contained a plastic butterfly, which looked very real. Doris held it up. “We all know that a caterpillar changes and grows into a beautiful butterfly. Yes that is new life, too” Little Judy smiled proudly and said, “Miss Miller, that one is mine.”

Next Doris found a rock with moss on it. She explained that the moss, too, showed life. Billy spoke up from the back of the classroom. “My Daddy helped me!” he beamed.

Then Doris opened the fourth egg. She gasped. The egg was empty! Surely it must be Jeremy’s, she thought, and, of course, he did not understand her instructions. If only she had not forgotten to phone his parents. Because she did not want to embarrass him, she quietly set the egg aside and reached for another. Suddenly Jeremy spoke up. “Miss Miller, aren’t you going to talk about my egg?” Flustered, Doris replied, “but Jeremy – your egg is empty!” He looked into her eyes and said softly, “Yes, but Jesus’ tomb was empty too!”

Time stopped. When she could speak again. Doris asked him, ” Do you know why the tomb was empty?” “Oh yes!” Jeremy exclaimed. “Jesus was killed and put in there. Then his Father raised him up!”

The recess bell rang. While the children excitedly ran out to the school yard, Doris cried. The cold inside her melted completely away.

Three months later Jeremy died. Those who paid their respects at the mortuary were surprised to see 19 eggs on top of his casket, all of them empty.

Have a blessed Easter, y’all.

Dems, MSM in panic mode as new Pope opposes abortion, gay marriage

Gosh darn it, why can’t the new Pope just “get with the times”? NBC – of course- exemplifies the type of focus our superficial, “progressive Christian” mainstream media has put on the new leader of the Catholic Church (bolded emphasis added by me):

Known as a compassionate Argentine archbishop who eschewed the trappings of his role to live amid his flock and who focused on the poor, Pope Francis will likely keep to Catholic teachings that reject abortion and same-sex marriage, experts said Wednesday.

Francis washed the feet of 12 AIDS victims living at a hospice in 2001, an action filled with symbolism in the Roman Catholic Church since it was reminiscent of Holy Thursday and the washing of the apostles’ feet by Jesus.

But in 2010, while Argentina was debating same-sex marriage legislation, he was quoted as calling the bill that ultimately passed “a plan to destroy God’s plan,” and said it was a “move by the father of lies to confuse and deceive the children of God.”

He has also said gays and lesbians should not be allowed to adopt, according to Bernard Schlaeger of the Pacific School of Religion.

“The pope will be Catholic,” Professor Christopher J. Ruddy, an expert in church theology at the Catholic University of America, said of how he expected Francis to respond to some of the controversial social issues. “He speaks and he teaches what the Catholic church teaches on these issues.”

Nonetheless, gay and lesbian advocacy groups called on Francis to embrace LGBT people and their families.

“For decades the Catholic hierarchy has been in need of desperate reform. In his life, Jesus condemned gays zero times. In Pope Benedict’s short time in the papacy, he made a priority of condemning gay people routinely,” the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said in a statement.

You know what? I’m not a Christian snob, and I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about Christian teachings, but I do know that homosexuality is one of the sins expressly condemned in the Bible – and in fact is called an “abomination.” It’s a sin alongside adultery, false gods, etc. Faith-immersed leaders are supposed to preach against sin, no matter what that sin is. They aren’t supposed to ignore it nor de-emphasize it and any pastor or priest who does so is doing a serious disservice not only to his faith but also to believers who come to them seeking more knowledge and/or clarification about the Word of God. The job of a pastor or priest is not to “modernize” in order to “keep up with changing times” …. because scripture doesn’t change, isn’t supposed to. Christians are supposed to know and understand well what sin is and what the consequences of it are. If the meaning of the Word of God is watered down to “whatever you want it to mean”, it might as well not even exist.

We’re all sinners, all imperfect – and for those of who are believers, the Word of God is supposed to be our guiding light, what we look to not just when we are facing tough times but also when times are good. While it’s true God’s Word seems to mean something different to almost everyone, there are certain things that are not “debatable” and sin is one of those little inconvenient (to the left) things that are really unquestionable. Sin is not acceptable in the eyes of God – period, no matter the sin – whether they be lies or sleeping around or murder or, yes, homosexuality. Liberals and their allies in LGBT groups like the one mentioned in the NBC article just can’t seem to understand why Christian leaders put so much emphasis on traditional marriage and the traditional family structure more than other sins. “Just leave us alone, don’t condemn!” they say. Well, that’s what they want you to think, anyway – that they simply want to be “left alone”, but in fact, Christian leaders put such a strong emphasis on the home and family so much because that is precisely what is under attack today by militant secularists and misguided “liberal Christians” both inside the church and outside of it who seek to “normalize” behavior that, according to God, is a sin.

Guess what? Even if there was one day is a Pope who doesn’t have an issue with abortion and alternative forms of marriage, according to the Word of God, it is wrong and that’s
never going to change. Not ever. No matter how many worldly declarations are made, how many laws are passed to “normalize” and “de-sin” behavior that is indeed sinful, God’s Word doesn’t change.

That’s a good thing, and I say all this as a Christian myself who knows she is a sinner but who also seeks guidance and forgiveness from God, and who also tries to help others in their Christian walk. I don’t ask God to make sins “ok” – I don’t ask Him to make it ok to lie, cheat, steal, etc. Why would I? I also don’t tell other sinners that their particular sins are “ok” to commit, but I will counsel them about sin when/if the opportunity presents itself. I also do NOT yell that other sinners are, “going to hell.” It’s not my place to make that judgment – it is God’s. But I can urge them to right themselves. That’s ministering to each other, something we are supposed to do. I’m thankful every day to God that His Word will never change, that the Bible – like the Constitution – in reality is not a “living document” that liberals and hardline secularists both in the media and elsewhere can mold into whatever they want it to mean. Well, they can try to change it, anyway but I suspect they’ll greatly regret it later, whether or not they are “successful” at it …

Final word from National Review’s Jim Geraghty in today’s Morning Jolt newsletter:

Was there any cardinal in the mix who, upon assuming the papacy, would step out onto the balcony, and declare, “Oh, hey, abortion, homosexuality and contraception are cool now”?

A couple times a year, Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne writes a column that says basically, “The Vatican has a big problem, because lots of American Catholics don’t agree with the pope.” It never seems to cross his mind that each pope and the Vatican collectively don’t really care that lots of American Catholics don’t agree with them. Or, more specifically, they would like American Catholics to agree with them, but they’re not willing to change what they teach as right and wrong based upon what the Gallup organization says American Catholics think. They think they get that material from the Man Upstairs. You may or may not agree with that assessment of Divine leadership, but the point is that the pope and the cardinals believe it, and they’re not going to be talked out of it by some pundit.

This is an institution that weathered the storms of the schism with the Orthodox and the Protestant Reformation. They’re not going to suddenly abandon their positions in the face of criticism from Chris Matthews, Lawrence O’Donnell, or Andrew Sullivan.

And I pray they never will.

Arab Spring: Egypt imprisons family for conversion to Christianity

**Posted by Phineas

That new government we helped to power is sure turning out fine, isn’t it? I mean, under Islamic Law, they could have been sentenced to death. Instead, for merely exercising the right of conscience inherent in all persons, a mother and her sons get “only” fifteen years in prison:

The criminal court of Beni Suef (115 km south of Cairo) has sentenced an entire family to prison for converting to Christianity. Nadia Mohamed Ali and her children Mohab, Maged, Sherif, Amira, Amir, and Nancy Ahmed Mohamed abdel-Wahab will spend 15 years in prison. Seven other people involved in the case were sentenced to five years in prison.

(…)

An individuals religious faith is listed in Egyptian identity cards. Christians, converted to Islam for various reasons that attempt to return to the religion to which they belong have enormous difficulty in correcting their names on the documents. This leads many people to forge them, risking prison. The reverse process, ie the transition from Christianity to Islam is not hindered, and in many cases is favored by the very Registry officials.

The woman had converted to Islam from Christianity on marrying her husband, but, after he died, she wanted to convert back. And she tried to convince her sons to join her. Under Islam, this is a huge sin.

I’m sure the Obama administration will be right on this, reminding the Egyptians that we did not facilitate their revolution so religious minorities could be persecuted. And they’ll listen and shape up, because the Hundred Acre Wood foreign policy is working out so well, isn’t it?

via Jihad Watch

RELATED: It’s the foreign policy, stupid!

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Victory for Domino’s founder against ObamaCare’s contraception mandate

Great news:

Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) founder Tom Monaghan sued the federal government in December on behalf of his Michigan office park, Domino’s Farms, to avoid providing the mandatory contraception coverage in the nation’s health care law — also known as the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. On Sunday, a district court judge in Michigan granted an emergency motion for a temporary restraining order that allows Monaghan to avoid providing contraception as part of his property management firm’s health care plan until the case is resolved.

The law went into effect on Tuesday and is already getting costly for some companies fighting its contraception provision. Last week, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied a similar injunction request for Oklahoma City arts-and-crafts store chain Hobby Lobby, which also has a contraception-based suit working its way through the lower courts and risks potential fines of $1.3 million a day for not offering the required coverage.

The heads of both companies have protested the law vociferously on religious grounds. Monaghan — who has used his Domino’s fortune to bankroll Catholic charities, support conservative political candidates and found Ave Maria University in Florida — argues that contraception isn’t health care, but “gravely immoral.” When Hobby Lobby launched its suit back in September, founder David Green wrote an opinion piece for USA Today blasting the mandate requiring the chain’s health insurance to provide “what I believe are abortion-causing drugs” because “we believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception.”

[…]

Monaghan sold much of his controlling stake in Domino’s to Bain Capital back in 1998 and his Domino’s Farms property outside of Ann Arbor is a small holding not affiliated with the company.

Hobby Lobby having to pay $1.3 million a day in fines is going to hurt them big time but I admire them for standing their ground on this. Let’s hope the court battles they – and Monaghan – face in the months ahead lead to a change in this monstrosity of a law so other companies who can’t afford to pay the fines and court costs but who want to opt out of the contraception mandate on religious freedoms grounds can do so.H

Liberal reax to Hobby Lobby defiance shows disturbing “Govt is God” mindset

Via Todd Starnes:

The owners of Hobby Lobby face $1.3 million in daily fines after they decided to obey God rather than the federal government – refusing to comply with Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

The act of defiance came one day after Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied Hobby Lobby’s emergency request to block enforcement of the mandate, but said the company may continue its appeal in lower courts.

Hobby Lobby is a national arts and crafts chain. They own more than 500 stores in 41 states.

The company is owned by the Green family, devout, evangelical Christians. They believe “it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured” and they seek to honor God by operating their company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”

The family believes the Obamacare mandate to provide the morning-after and week-after pills is a violation of their religious convictions.

“To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs,” Becket Fund attorney Kyle Duncan wrote in a statement.

Duncan said the company would continue to provide health insurance for its employees while they fight the government in court.

But on Jan. 1, Hobby Lobby will face a $1.3 million daily fine if they don’t comply with Obamacare.

What was the liberal reax to Sotomayor’s ruling? They were predictably snobby and, of course, juvenile – not to mention dangerously devoted to their government masters:

“I hope the government earmarks every cent of that fee money for Planned Parenthood, just to spite these ass****,” wrote one reader on the Jezebel website.

“Anyway, I’m all for Hobby Lobby (and all other organizations that think birth control is totes gross) ignoring the law,” wrote Erin Gloria Ryan in a column titled, “Whore Pill-Hating Hobby Lobby Will Have to Pay a Buttload of Fines for Ignoring Obamacare.”

The website Think Progress said Hobby Lobby is ignoring two points.

“First, that Plan B is not an abortion-inducing drug, as Hobby Lobby claims, and second, that the company may well end up paying more to avoid covering contraception than they would simply providing access,” the website reported. “It also takes a twisted view on the ‘Freedom of Religion’ argument; the company is actually forcing its owner’s religious beliefs on all employees, no matter their personal religious views.”

What astonishing stupidity. Here’s the mindset of liberals like the idiots at “Think Progress”: It’s ok for the federal government to force you to violate your religious freedoms at the point of fines and possibly at some point jail time if you don’t comply, but a private employer choosing to exercise its First Amendment rights is “forcing its religious beliefs on all employees” – EVEN THOUGH THOSE EMPLOYEES HAVE THE OPTION OF FINDING ANOTHER JOB if they don’t agree with the decision.

Good grief, these people are mind-blowingly ignorant (and willingly so) at times.  Then again, what do you expect from people who by and large view government aka Uncle Sam as God and your private religious beliefs that are supposed to be guaranteed under the US Constitution as secondary to what the their government god mandates?

While they’re at it, why doesn’t the left, en masse, just break out their weed lighters and set fire to the Constitution, too?  They should pass one to Justice Sotomayor as well – if she hasn’t done it already.

Related: Twitchy.com – Left condemns Hobby Lobby for defying Obamacare, ignores lawbreaker David Gregory

The Charlotte Observer, “scholars” owe Rev. Billy Graham an apology

Several weeks ago, the Charlotte Observer – apparently upset that the Graham family was making its support of Mitt Romney well known in the final weeks leading up to the election – posted an unsubstantiated hit piece on America’s favorite pastor Billy Graham, insinuating that Graham no longer had control of his mental faculties and suggesting his son Franklin was using him as a puppet to advance his own agenda. From the article:

Confronting criticism Tuesday that he has commandeered the voice of aging evangelist Billy Graham and turned him into “a mouthpiece for the religious right,” Franklin Graham said his father’s entrance into a tightening presidential race was his own choice.

“Nobody kidnaps my Daddy. He may not see or hear as well, but his mind remains sharp as a razor,” Graham said. “He’s been active in politics since the 1940s. People need to remember that.”

Billy Graham turns 94 the day after the Nov. 6 election. After running a worldwide ministry for six decades, the Charlotte native today is a physically diminished widower who lives alone in his Montreat home who remains beloved by many Christians.

The evangelist has been a friend and adviser to several presidents from both parties. Yet he traditionally has avoided political endorsements.

Thus the content of some of Graham’s recent comments and his apparent backing of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney have caught longtime Graham watchers off guard.

“The Billy Graham we’re seeing in this campaign is a constructed Billy Graham, constructed by his son,” religion scholar Michael Hamilton said. “A constructed Graham is not necessarily a false Graham or a true Graham. It’s the Graham Franklin wants us to see.”

Franklin Graham said his father is a willing participant in an effort to put a stronger Christian voice in government.

[…]

Graham’s words were in response to essays by Hamilton and a Graham biographer questioning whether Franklin Graham has orchestrated his father’s political involvement. They say Billy Graham’s role is out of character both in his apparent endorsement of Romney as well as his embrace of social issues more aligned with the Christian right, not his own ministry.

The comments of William Martin, author of “A Prophet with Honor: The Billy Graham Story,” and Hamilton, chairman of the history department at Seattle Pacific University, appear under the headline, “Has Billy Graham Turned Political?”

With Graham kept out of the spotlight, Hamilton said, the answer remains unclear.

“We don’t know if Billy Graham has become political. We don’t know that this is Dr. Graham,” Hamilton said Tuesday.

This Billy Graham is “smaller” and “angrier,” and sounds like “a mouthpiece for the religious right,” Hamilton said, not the “world-changing, large-visioned, big-hearted” figure that has been Graham’s legacy.

Franklin Graham, now in charge of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, has put that legacy at risk, Hamilton said. He said he might ask the son whether he’s willing to have his father’s life re-evaluated, to have historians say to themselves, “Well, maybe we have it wrong.”

I should point out that the Observer is also probably a bit peeved that the elder Graham has not sat down for an interview with them since 1996, hence, the bitter tone of the piece.

You’ll note that, outside of Billy Graham’s son, they spoke with NO ONE else who could attempt to substantiate Graham’s claim that his dad was still of sound mind, able to speak for himself – surely they could have found one or two people, even if they were only willing to speak off the record, who could provide a possible counter point to the “scholars”? If they had attempted to, they’d have said so. This is so characteristic of agenda-driven liberal news outlets trying to push false narratives. “Two scholars” say that can’t really be Rev. Billy Graham speaking, so we must trust them. But Rev. Franklin Graham, the one they believe is “speaking” for his dad, is the only one they get to combat the “scholars.” What a surprise! Not.

This isn’t objective journalism, and the Observer in retrospect should be ashamed of trying to pass it off as such.

I bring all this up now because a new video has been posted by the Graham family and it’s a recent one that has the Rev. Billy Graham himself speaking clearly and passionately about “My Hope.” First, a little bit about “My Hope“:

My Hope with Billy Graham is a grass-roots effort to reach people across the United States and Canada with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Following a simple biblical model, My Hope with Billy Graham combines the reach and excitement of a nationwide media event with the power of personal relationships. Under the guidance of their local pastors, Christians across these two countries will open their homes to share the Gospel message with friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors using different media programs featuring Billy Graham, dynamic music, and testimonies.

Billy Graham spoke in the My Hope TV special. Click here or watch what he had to say below:

Yes, he’s older, he can’t get around like he used to, he’s got health issues that keep him primarily home bound – but this man is NOT a puppet, is clearly NOT being controlled by his son, and is still a STRONG believer in and promoter of God and of God’s word and, just as he has for decades, is still trying to lead people both home and abroad to Christ.

Just a week prior to the Observer posting their baseless nonsense, Mitt Romney visited Asheville, NC for a campaign speech and also met privately with the elder Rev. Graham and his son, also a Reverend. Reportedly, Graham endorsed Romney at this time and pledged his full support as the final days of the campaign were drawing to a close. But in spite of this, the Observer saw fit to publish an article a week later questioning whether or not Graham was still able to think and speak for himself. I guess they thought Mitt Romney was in on the cover-up, too? Sick.

Weekend at Bernie’s this was NOT, Observer, I’m deeply disappointed with you for trying to imply it was. This man has earned and is due the respect you failed to give him in this hit piece.

Readers: If you’d like to respectfully let the paper know how you feel about their broadside against Graham, click here. They need to know how readers/subscribers feel so they can try to get it right in the future.

#INSEN: I stand with @RichardMourdock against #prochoice demagoguery

Last night, the three candidates for Indiana Senate participated in a debate, and the last question asked was on abortion and where the candidates stood. All three candidates (Richard Mourdock – R, Joe Donnelly – D, Andrew Horning – L) are pro-life and said so in response to the question. Donnelly is Mourdock’s main opponent and they are locked in a tight race, if polling numbers are an accurate indication. Of course, a Republican having to contend with a Libertarian candidate on the ballot makes it even more uphill and it could ultimately be a factor in this race. But in the meantime, Mourdock’s chief concern is Donnelly, and with two weeks to go before election day, opportunistic, leftists seized on Mourdock’s answer and explanation to the abortion question. Via CNN (bolded emphasis added by me):

(CNN) — U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Wednesday that he is sorry if he offended anyone by saying that pregnancies from rape are “something that God intended to happen” but accused Democrats of distorting his comments for political gain.

“For those who want to kind of twist the comments and use them for partisan, political gain, I think that’s what’s wrong with Washington these days,” the Indiana candidate said. “I spoke from my heart; I spoke with my principle; I spoke from my faith. And if others want to somehow turn those words and use them against me, again, that’s what’s wrong with Washington today.

“It is win at any costs. Let’s make up issues when we can’t find real ones. Let’s twist, let’s distort, let’s deceive. And I think that’s a sad process.”

His initial comments came during a debate Tuesday with Democratic congressman Joe Donnelly, and they prompted outrage among liberals who accuse the GOP of seeking to undermine women’s rights.

“Mr. Mourdock’s lack of compassion for rape survivors is callous, insulting and completely out of touch,” said Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

Mourdock became the Republican Senate nominee after toppling longtime incumbent Richard Lugar in a bitter primary fight. The Louisville (Kentucky) Courier-Journal, which had endorsed Lugar, announced Wednesday that it was endorsing Donnelly in part because of Mourdock’s pregnancy comment.

The newspaper, which has readers in southern Indiana, wrote that Mourdock’s statement “exceeded extreme” and that Donnelly represented “the only rational choice for voters.”

Just what were Mourdock’s full remarks? Read below:

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is a gift from God, and I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” said Mourdock, the Indiana state treasurer. He added that he would allow for exceptions to an abortion ban when a mother’s life was in danger.

Seeking to clarify his comments, Mourdock said Wednesday that “I absolutely abhor violence. I absolutely abhor any kind of sexual violence. I abhor rape, and I am absolutely confident that, as I stand here, the God that I worship abhors violence, abhors sexual violence and abhors rape. The God that I worship would never, ever want to see evil done.

“So many people mistook, twisted, came to misunderstand the points that I was trying to make. … If they came away with any impression other than that, I truly regret it.”

First thought is: Why the hell did the comments deserve clarification in the first place? He didn’t say, contra to lying “feminists” and opportunistic DEMagogues like Debbie Wasserman Schultz, that God “condoned” rape, nor did his comments demonstrate that he (Mourdock) “supports rape“, another outrageously false assertion being made by many on the pro-abortion side. My opinion is that  his thoughtful answer stood on its own: As a Christian pro-lifer he has struggled with the issue of abortion but ultimately he comes down on the side of life, even in the horrible instances where one has been conceived as the result of rape – because he believes life is God-given and begins at conception, no matter how the baby is conceived.  And he does make exceptions in the cases of life of the mother.

None of these positions are “extreme” (unlike the abortion procedures themselves) nor were his comments intentionally “insulting” to rape victims, no matter how much shameless victim-mongers on the left want to make them out to be.  And here is the kicker: There are probably very few people outside of the state of Indiana who know that Joe Donnelly’s position on abortion is not that far off from Mourdock’s.  Here is his answer (Mourdock’s follows) on where he stands on abortion.  He is pro-life, but makes exceptions for rape, incest, and health of the mother.  In other words, his position is very similar to many on the GOP side, and it’s a position “feminist” groups like NARAL have said  in the past is “dangerous for women across America” – but you’re  not hearing SCREAMS of outrage from The Usual Suspects on his position because militant left wing zealots on this issue still believe his position is better than Mourdock’s.

Ideally, would it have been better for Mourdock to leave God out of his answer? Sure, if you want to be politically correct about it, and if you want to ignore the fact that faith does play a role in the personal opinions of  many candidates and already-elected politicos.  Paul Ryan, for example, expressed in his debate with Joe Biden that he didn’t believe you could separate your public life from your faith, and that – in a roundabout way – is what Mourdock said with respect to abortion in instances of rape.   What Mourdock did NOT say was that he doesn’t feel compassion towards rape victims who end up being pregnant as a result of the violent crime – his note that the crime was “horrible” should have been a a strong indicator that he is not unfeeling when it comes to this issue, and the fact that he admitted he’s struggled on the question is another indicator that he doesn’t take the issues of abortion nor rape lightly.

Really, NO ONE does – not Democrats, not Republicans, no one. But try telling that to the hacks who have distorted, misrepresented, and lied about Mourdock’s remarks.  As usual, NARAL/NOW types are using the opportunity to make dishonest claims about “extremism” and “rape-supporting.”  It’s cheap, it’s low, it’s classless, but in the end it’s a tactic that hopefully will NOT impact this race negatively for Mourdock.

Keep in mind that as a Senator, there would be VERY little Mourdock could do on the issue of abortion anyway in terms of legislation.  There is the SCOTUS nominee confirmation process, however, which is ultimately what scares the bloody hell out of abortion devotees.

Also, to use a famous quote from our celebrity President, let me make this perfectly clear: Though I have been in a date – rape situation that was fortunately stopped in time, I am not a rape victim and can only imagine the physical, emotional, and psychological ups and downs victims go through as a result of it happening.  For some victims of rape who have become pregnant as a result, they say it is like reliving the rape all over again – and again.  My heart goes out to all rape victims, whether they became pregnant as a result or not. From what I’ve read, the feelings of terror, powerlessness and helplessness they must have felt when they were victimized never fully leaves them.  But in the cases of those who have become pregnant, the decisions they must make take on an added layer of agony, trauma, and resentment.  I can’t step into their minds to fully understand what they’re going through, and can’t honestly say that I wouldn’t be a little conflicted if I were in the same situation.  Emotions are tricky things and sometimes we act on them in ways we end up regretting later, which leads me to this:

I believe that having an abortion just adds another victim to the horrific crime of rape itself.  As Mourdock implied with his comments, a life conceived is a life, regardless of how it happened.   It can’t be a “clump of cells” in instances of rape but a “developing baby” in instances where the conception was intended. There are women who have been raped who kept their babies and ended up loving them with all of their hearts. There are women who have been raped who did not abort and who ended up giving the baby up for adoption.  I have spoken with adult kids of rape victims.   Needless to say, they are relieved their mother made the difficult choice to have them in spite of the daily reminder it must have brought of what happened to them.

This is an issue that deserves careful thoughtful analysis and discussion, introspection, sensitivity, and honesty – NOT despicable demagoguery, pandering manipulation, and cheap politicization. Reasonable people can disagree on this issue, but unfortunately the liberal opposition doesn’t care about being reasonable nor truthful. The real “insult” from all of this is the fact radical feminists and liberal politicos and other left wing public figures use issues like this to divide Americans, and to demonize pro-life men who – in their view – should not even be allowed to have an opinion at all on abortion since “they can’t have babies.”

If you’re a supporter of Mourdock who is reconsidering in light of what he said last night, I urge you to stand firm.  If you’re someone whose support has never wavered but who wants to step it up more now to help him defend himself from character assassination, click here.

But if you’re a GOP politico demanding apologies (Mike Pence) and/or are pulling your support for Mourdock (looking at you, Sen. Ayotte) as a result of the false narrative generated from what he said, I am deeply disappointed in you – and I know I’m not the only one.   We are quickly become a nation of people losing its collective backbone, and on this issue – perhaps more than any other – we can’t allow the media and the left to paint us into a corner by falsely defining who we are and where we stand.  The unborn can’t speak for themselves but we can try to speak for them in the interests of protecting them.

In all the hoopla stirred up by manufactured controversies like this one, we must never forget that.

Dear Chick-fil-A: Please tell me you didn’t cave to bigoted Chicago alderman

I sincerely hope this is not true:

ATLANTA After touching off national debate this summer over gay marriage and freedom of speech, Chick-fil-A is getting out of politics.

At least according to gay rights advocates in Chicago, who announced that they had secured an agreement by the Atlanta chicken chain to stop donating to political or social groups that oppose gay marriage rights.

Chick-fil-A, however, neither confirmed nor denied the claim. Instead it referred to a statement promising equal treatment and political neutrality that it had issued in July, shortly after controversy erupted over comments by top executive Dan Cathy in which he sided with traditional marriage proponents.

Still, the Chicago announcement, issued by city Alderman Proco “Joe” Moreno and the Civil Rights Agenda group, fueled Internet headlines trumpeting Chick-fil-A’s change of position.

That sparked split reactions among customers.

“Victory never tasted so sweet,” said one of many commenters at the company’s Facebook page. “Anyone for Chick-fil-A?”

“If this story is true,” wrote another, “Chick-fil-A better be ready to lose a lot of customers in the future.” Some said company executives should clarify whether anything has actually changed.

Moreno had blocked the opening of a new Chicago location because of the controversy, which stemmed not only from Cathy’s comments but also from Chick-fil-A’s purported support of groups considered anti-gay.

In the announcement, dated Tuesday, Moreno said that after months of behind-the-scenes negotiations, his office and Civil Rights Agenda struck a deal with Chick-fil-A to treat the gay, lesbian and transgendered community with equality.

If this is accurate, I’ll still eat at Chick-fil-A but I’ll regret encouraging people to go there and support them back in August for the national support day first called for by Mike Huckabee. People lined up en masse at Chick-fil-A locations around the country that day to show support for religious freedom and traditional marriage and to have Chick-fil-A essentially blackmailed into backing off supporting organizations in line with their viewpoint on marriage and the traditional family structure would be a big disappointment. Not to mention the message the cave would send to other politicos around America in suggesting that it’s ok to use government power and threats to silence differing viewpoints.

I’ll also throw this out there, which I’m sure will make some people angry: If you want to understand PART of the reason why some won’t jump on the “gay rights” bandwagon- it is precisely for BS like this. I know a number of people who would support gay marriage and other issues related to “gay rights” if the liberal Gay Gestapo stopped treating private citizens and businesses that didn’t line up with their worldview as “despicable, hate-filled Americans” for simple disagreement. While it’s true that some people oppose gay marriage because they “hate gays”, the bigger picture is that sometimes people just simply DISAGREE with someone else’s viewpoint on something for legitimate, debatable reasons. Disagreement does not always = “the other side is full of hate.” In fact this is the case most of the time. Too bad militant gay leftists don’t understand this.

I’m a big believer in the power of the consumer. If you disagree with a business, don’t eat there, don’t shop there, etc. Tell your friends to do the same. I might disagree with your rationale for doing so, but I support your right to do it. What I DON’T support are campaigns engaged in by radicals to force private citizens and businesses into backing off their religious beliefs. I especially don’t like it when the power of the government is used in essentially the same manner. This is dangerous and, quite frankly, un-American – and I view anyone who supports such blatant abuses of government power as equally un-American .

Hope we hear more from Chick-fil-A soon regarding this matter.