secular progressives

Go Ahead, Annoy People. Paul Did.

There's a lot of talk right now (as there always is) about moral values in the public square. There are those who think it's not "polite" to mix religion and politics and, worse, have a misguided understanding of the First Amendment and a supposed "wall of separation between Church and state." Whether politician or private person, in today's culture, we're just not supposed to talk about Christ. We're not supposed to lead others to Him. We're not supposed to help people understand right from wrong because, after all, there is no right or wrong — who are you to decide and judge? We've been shamed and intimidated. No one wants to annoy others. We all just want to get along, right?

Go ahead. Annoy them.

Pope Francis recently spoke about the importance of annoying people and illustrated it's appropriateness by highlighting the greatest annoyer of all, Saint Paul:

Paul is a nuisance: he is a man who, with his preaching, his work, his attitude irritates others, because testifying to Jesus Christ and the proclamation of Jesus Christ makes us uncomfortable, it threatens our comfort zones — even Christian comfort zones, right?

It irritates us. The Lord always wants us to move forward, forward, forward . . . not to take refuge in a quiet life or in cozy structures, no? ... And Paul, in preaching of the Lord, was a nuisance. But he had deep within him that most Christian of attitudes: Apostolic zeal.

There are backseat Christians, right? Those who are well mannered, who do everything well, but are unable to bring people to the Church through proclamation and Apostolic zeal. ... if we annoy people, blessed be the Lord.

Without Paul's dogged determination, would Christianity have ever been more than an isolated, peculiar sect? The modernists and secular progressives, no doubt, think and would hope so. In this age, instead, they are keen to suppress Judeo-Christian teachings of moral truths and prohibit their influence in public policy until, that is, they can nihilistically redefine them. Meanwhile, unfortunately, too many of us cower at the necessary confrontation of ideas.

But Paul never let discouragement from imprisonment, physical abuse or being ostracized detract him from the Truth because he knew not to continue meant he was as guilty as those who meant to suffocate the Word. So, go ahead. Annoy someone (politely) today . . . and tomorrow . . . and the next. Despite the current IRS headlines, you won't face the exacting civil punishments Paul did. You may make someone uncomfortable, but as long as you are not, you will get them to think. In the long run, everyone will be thankful.

Being a nuisance is not what the secularists want us to think it is. It is what God wants us to think it is. We know this because Paul was one.

O'Reilly's Culture Appeasers

Perhaps the signature show on the leading news network on television is The O'Reilly Factor on the Fox News Channel. Reviled by liberals and not often held in esteem by conservatives, Bill O'Reilly is nothing if not at least an interesting character. He certainly has legions of fans who watch his show and buy his books. But in this highly partisan time in our history, where almost everything on television, in movies, online and even on your phone is political, The O'Reilly Factor first got traction more than a dozen years ago not by discussing politics — which it does more than the political shows themselves — but by examining cultural issues. Mr. O'Reilly has a concern for the debasing of the culture and, long before Glenn Beck, exposed the destructiveness of secular progressives and gave voice to traditionalists who respect values long the bedrock of a flourishing American society that became the envy of the world. He wrote a best selling book, Culture Warrior, about it and even has a "culture warrior" test on his Web site. The questions look like they come out of a Family Research Council survey. 

Inevitably, his show got sucked into the political gabfest, but he reserves a weekly segment called "The Culture Warriors" that examines the debasing of society. It used to be instructive. Now it's useless. Whereas his original analysts were adversarial to the muck in pop culture that penetrates the innocence of children or leads to deleterious behavior, the bubbleheads he now employs as "warriors" are nothing more than culture appeasers. One, Gretchen Carlson (a former Miss America and Richmond news anchor), recently said she agrees with homosexual marriage and wouldn't say if she agreed with abortion. Yesterday, her substitute, Courtney Friel, couldn't, or wouldn't, say if she thought a Web ad with eight- and nine-year-old children using the F-word was a bad thing and, if that wasn't peculiar enough, the other regular, Margaret Hoover (a "pro-choice Republican" who also favors same-sex marriage) said she thought the ad was "funny." Children using the "F-word" is funny?

To be fair, Mr. O'Reilly remains true to his convictions. But he strains credibility by giving people who agree with the debasement of society the largest platform in cable news to dismiss its adverse affects, a pair who often respond with a rhetorical yawn and a nothin' to worry about snub. It's like asking an actor to review his own movie. If he wants people to disagree with him and debate, fine. Let's have at it. But he should not bill this pair as something they are not, which gives cover to those who can't wait to think of the next outrageous ad to produce, the next redefinition of marriage, or the next excuse for abortion on demand. If a warrior is one who is opposed to something and willing to fight against it, it looks as if they have already redefined that as well.

From BillOReilly.com: Segment Summaries: Culture Warriors:

On the issue of the kids saying the F-word, Friel pointed out that the parents were apparently okay with it: "The parents all gave permission, and they were on set." Hoover said that the kids cursing didn't bother her in the end: "At first I was offended, and then I realized it was a big joke. And I laughed. It was funny." The Factor didn't think it was appropriate for the children to be saying things like that: "I would not let my 9-year-old do that. No way."

Earth Day Celebrates All Of God's Creation Except Human Life

Is it not ironic that secular progressives, who celebrated one of their high holy days this week (Earth Day), are so concerned with "saving the Earth" that they seemingly have forgotten that in order to "save the Earth" we first need to save human life? However, there is an organization that has taken a bold step to sound the reminder. CatholicVote.org has undertaken a clever media campaign to remind us Earthlings what the true precious gift of God's life is. It has purchased busboards in several major markets promoting Life. It followed that up with a video of people's reactions (see it at RealCatholicBlog.com). It's very promising to hear the comments of approval, both of the tactics and the message. It shows that Americans can and will wake up to the true preciousness of Life when the message is unfiltered from political pollution and seen in the pure state of grace and priority in which it is given to us from our Creator.

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The real meaning of Earth Day.

Terry Schaivo Death Anniversary: FRC Panel Discussion March 29, Webcast March 31

The Family Research Council is hosting a panel event commemorating the 5th anniversary of Terri Schaivo's death on Monday, March 29 at 11:00 a.m., at its office in Washington, D.C. (801 G Street, N.W.). It's free and a light lunch will be provided. It also will be Webcast on March 31 at frc.org. Panelists include FRC Senior Fellow for Legal Issues Cathy Ruse; Terri's brother Bobby Schindler, a full-time pro-life and disability rights advocateDavid Gibbs, the Schindler family's lead attorney and author of Fighting for Dear Life; and Robert Destro, professor of law, The Catholic University of America. Call 800-225-4008 to RSVP or for more information, or click here to register. To learn more, click here for a flyer. In this period where secular progressives have advanced the culture of death, Terri's death and legal struggles, and the lessons learned, are most relevant. Her sad episode served as a momentous indictment on our culture's progressive devaluation of life. This anniversary look-back at a breathtaking event of five years ago will be an important reminder that the situation surrounding her death should forever remain in our collective national memory.

Ninth Circuit Reverses Itself, "Under God" And "In God We Trust" Constitutional, So Will Atheists Please Now Drop It?

The most liberal federal appellate court in the country, San Francisco-based Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, ruled yesterday — reversing itself — that the words "Under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "In God We Trust" on U.S. currency are constitutional (Doug Stanglin on USA Today's OnDeadline Blog). For those who can't get a grip on the fact that mentions of "God" are not an establishment of religion, but that, in fact, our Founders based our laws and constitutional government on a reliance of God, here is what Judge Carlos Bea wrote in his opinion (Google/AP):

The Pledge of Allegiance serves to unite our vast nation through the proud recitation of some of the ideals upon which our Republic was founded.

Regarding the currency, the court ruled . . .

the phrase is ceremonial and patriotic and "has nothing whatsover to do with the establishment of religion."

If the Ninth Circuit gets it, then why can't secular progressives, Atheists and extreme leftists of various (and nefarious) stripes get it? It's time for them to find a new game to play.

UPDATE: All Clear At One Capitol Square

Word on the ground is that the all clear was given several minutes ago and tenants have returned to work at One Capitol Square. A small basement fire was the villain. The Family Foundation staff is back at work at advancing conservatism and traditional family values to the consternation of secular progressives across The Old Dominion. I, however, remain at a secret, secure location. A serious thanks to the Richmond Fire Department and the building's staff for their quick responses and professionalism in minimizing something that could have gone undetected and morphed into something more serious.

What An Honor!

In May, we noticed that none other than Right Wing Watch, the blog of the well known national liberal organization People For The American Way, had commented about us. In fact, it was concerned about the launch of our "Winning Matters" program, which engages pastors to lead their congregations into full participation into the public square. We noted at the time that we must be doing something right if such a large, national organization and RWW were keeping their eyes on us, a lil' ol' state policy organization. So, imagine how we feel now that they've mentioned us again (see here), this time ridiculing Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., for speaking at some of our pastors events around the commonwealth. Wearing this online red badge of courage, we thought we'd report on something they really could chew on.

People For The American Way and other liberal, secular progressives believe, given recent election trends, that the death of Christianity in America is near — or at least we've been minimized to the point of a curious, but irrelevant, nuisance. It's apparent to the collective liberal institutional genius (media, academia, public education, special interest groups, unions, etc.), that many Americans finally are enlightened, no longer hold the traditional values that are the result of one's faith in God, and that the country has reached the Rubiconof a mother state with no looking back (the flipping of conservative Virginia their prize possession).

Those of us who still dare live in the Stone Age are so few in number that we can be essentially forgotten by society and left to dwell in our caves. Finally the progressives can officially progress . . .  

But maybe not. In Roanoke last week, we hosted a pastors event in connection with the Winning Matters 2009 Campaign. Approximately 40 pastors from around the region filled the room and were encouraged, equipped and empowered to continue influencing their congregations and communities on traditional values issues. (For information on other pastor events around Virginia, click here.)

Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University's School of Law, reminded them of their personal and congregational rights to speak freely on the issues of the day. Rick Scarborough, of Vision America, challenged them to speak truth to their communities and leaders, as he has done for many years with great success. Family Foundation staff offered practical steps to make their churches more effective voices, including:

» Preaching a citizenship sermon; » Holding a voter registration drive; » Distributing General Assembly Report Cards; and » Distributing voter guides.

Each pastor there decided to stand up and be counted for the cause of Biblical values. They certainly didn't look dead in their passion to make a difference. Besides, even if they were, secular progressives forget that we serve a God who raises the dead. That alone, should give Right Wing Watch plenty to blog about.