Friday, September 12, 2014

Religious Freedom

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Our nation’s forefathers were Christians, and they wrote often they believed the battle to attain their liberty was won due to their reliance on God and the Holy Bible. Through the years, Americans and their leaders enacted laws that reflected biblical values and principles. We remained a highly moral country for almost two centuries, largely because our people wove their Christian beliefs into all parts of their lives, including the public arena.

What happened to America from 1776 to the present? How can we explain the immorality that exists today? Where was the church in this unfortunate battle that ignored historical precedents and an established culture based on moral values, in order to introduce anti-biblical, moral defying laws? How did we slip so far away from the godly standards America once valued?

If there could be one time in history that stands out as indicating a change of direction, it would be the Supreme Court decision to remove prayer from our schools. Some argue that ruling was just a consequence of a society that had slowly morphed into one less religious and more secular. But there is little evidence to prove that is true.

However, It is rather astonishing that not a single legal brief from a Christian church or organization officially opposed that Supreme Court case; a decision that most see as the “beginning of an escalating downward trend.” That fact indicates the true cause for America’s moral decline may be due to a change of attitude within church leadership, that had begun to intentionally ignore all things political and/or controversial. That trend continued and exists today.

There may be many good reasons and excuses for that major change, but the results for both the church and society have been devastating. Church membership has drastically fallen, immoral laws and thus immorality abounds, and our nation and people no longer resemble that of our of our amazing forefathers.

Christians must fight back

So, should we just give up and admit America has declined so much that we can never restore those days and all we have lost?  Absolutely not!  The Church can survive this lapse, but it likely will require our spiritual leaders to become involved in the battle, rather than remain casual observers who rationalize they have no responsibility in what is happening to our culture. They are the one who have the platform and trust of those who want morality to regain its former place in our lives, but need instructions and information to do so.

Church leaders in 1776  led their people into a war for altruistic purposes. Today they just need to lead their people into voting booths armed with facts that enable them to make the right choices.

That is how Christians can fight to regain our lost freedoms and principles, without the traditional weapons of war. This victory can be won through the power of  prayer, words, and inspiration from God.

Our ancestors tasted the bitterness of subjection to a tyrannical King who cared little for them. Today we are experiencing an overbearing, power hungry government that is largely secular, with a largely anti-Christian agenda. Our ancestors could not live with tyranny, but sadly Christians and their church leaders today do not seem as concerned about the issues, direction, and spiritual health of our county, at least not enough to take any action that would help reverse the trend.

Church leaders claim that it is not their duty to educate their congregation about anti-Christian laws or to provide enlightening information at election time, but, if not them, who then? Most people are so busy with their lives, they do not have time to keep up with the myriad of political issues and laws. The majority are likewise completely unaware of what is happening to our society due to new laws that invite immorality. Who better to give them facts than the entity they can most trust with the truth: Their Church leaders.

The Black Robed Pastors were willing to die by the sword for freedom; Church leaders today are not asked to die, just to speak out against morality and to thwart the efforts of those enacting anti-Christian laws that are incrementally destroying America. Will they enlighten their parishioners; equip them with truths and allow their congregations to become informed “points of light” in their neighborhoods, at their jobs, and possibly even at town hall meetings?

Heed these words in a 1944 speech by Norman Thomas, an American socialist and a six-time Presidential candidate of the Socialist Party of America, then consider how close they are to our current condition:

The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of liberalism they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without ever knowing how it happened.

One hundred sixty eight years earlier, Samuel Adams, as a Founding Father, an architect of the principles of American republicanism that shaped the political culture of the United States, and second cousin to later U.S. President John Adams, expressed this prophetic warning:

If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.

There is a glimmer of hope in that some Church leaders are awakening to the reality that they must begin providing facts about bad bills, laws, and procedures that negatively affect and impact Christian families. That indeed would be exceedingly helpful to families, and has the potential to change the direction of our Country.  However, they are few and far between.

Everyone needs a source whose opinion they greatly value to provide critical information about controversial issues; not just any source, but one they can trust. Christians can combine their voices, and thus have a positive impact on the culture.  We applaud the pastors who have awakened to become beacons of light to the body of Christ.  Meet the new “Black Robed Regiment” who are stepping forward to protect the church and our country. May many more follow.

Black Robed Regiment message needs to be heard today!

During the week of August 24 through the 28th, The Illinois Family Institute, David E. Smith, Executive Director, held ten special events in different areas of the state featuring Pastor Dan Fisher and his presentation titled, “Bringing Back The Black Robed Regiment.” Pastor Fisher is the Senior Pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Yukon, Oklahoma, and also serves in the Oklahoma state legislature. As one of the first original Pulpit Freedom Pastors, Fisher is on the boards of Bott Christian Radio Network, Reclaiming America for Christ, and Vision America.

One presentation was held in the Bensenville church of Pastor John Kirkwood, who is Associate Director of the Christian Emergency League (CEL). To learn more visit christianleague.org.  A core strategy of the CEL is to is to partner with like-minded believers in prayer and finances to advance Christ and the morals set forth in the Holy Word of God. Its goal is to partner with like-minded Christians to form a chapter in all 50 states and territories, although the core of the CEL will most likely be drawn from pastors.  Never to be dismissed by church leaders are these words of warning by German patriot and Lutheran minister Dietrich Bonhoeffer during WW II which ultimately cost him his life:

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil. God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.

Such powerful words. They should be put in cement for future centuries to observe, consider, and embrace. Pastor Kirkwood, Associate Director of CEL, can be contacted at (309) 863-5196 or P.O. Box 300, Bensenville, IL, 60106.

This video shows Pastor Fisher recounting the story in a Black Robed Regiment presentation through the eyes of Rev. Peter Muhlenberg, the minister who spearheaded the Black Robed Regiment movement. In his impersonation of Rev. Muhlenberg, Dan Fisher, appearing on stage initially wearing a black robe, unrobed to reveal a military uniform underneath, as did Rev. Muhlenberg, when at the conclusion of his Sunday sermon on January 21,1776 he declared:

In the language of the Holy Writ, there was a time for all things, a time to preach and a time to pray, but those times have passed away.  There is a time to fight, and that time is now coming!

Marching to the rear of his church, the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Woodstock, Virginia, in his full military uniform, Muhlenberg declared, “Who among you is with me?”  On that day one-by-one men from his congregation stood up and joined Muhlenberg in the fight for liberty. They embraced their families and walked down the aisle to add their names to their pastor’s, as others from the community heeded the call.

Shortly afterwards the Woodstock congregation and community watched their men ride off to war with pastor Muhlenberg riding in the lead as part of the 8th Virginia Regiment, singing “Onward Christian Soldiers.”

It’s now or never for church leaders to take a stand to become the Black Robed Regiment of todayin order to preserve religious freedom for generations of Americans to come, remembering that freedom is a Gift from God.  It is time for pastors to speak boldly and their civic duty to do so.  Step up to the challenge today and become among the ranks of The Black Robed Regiment of the 21th century.

Part 1: Thorner & O’Neil:  Calling all Christians  

Part 2:  Thorner & O’Neil: Calling all Church Leaders 

Part 3:  Thorner & O’Neil:  Church falls short if evangelizing is sole purpose 

Part 4:  Thorner & O’Neil: Patriot preachers of the 18th century 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

D-fisherphoto

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Patriot preachers of the 18th Century, in becoming prophets of liberty and truth, set the stage for the Revolutionary War. Hated and feared by the British, they were referred to as the “Black Robed Regiment.” Believing the Bible addressed every subject, including politics, patriot pastors boldly preached about spiritual and civil liberty. When, however, the inevitable clash came they exchanged their black robes for military uniforms, leading men onto the battle field to face the dreaded Redcoats. For in the minds of patriot preachers religious (internal) liberty and civil (external) liberty were inextricably connected.

Accordingly,18th century pastors saw no need to separate church and state. They believed it was wrong to do so, as did Thomas Jefferson and most of the other Founders, despite holding to a strict adherence of separation of church and state. What Jefferson and preachers and congregations of the day adamantly opposed was the establishment of a government-sponsored church.

Nevertheless, they wanted Christianity to be the dominate faith in America, believing that religion was critical to liberty and fair government. Furthermore:

  • The overwhelming majority of the Founders were not atheists and desists, as many on the Left believe.
  • The patriot preachers believed it a sin not to mix church and state.
  • The patriot preachers taught that only godly leaders should be entrusted with the reins of government.

Even today, seven states still have a clause in their constitutions that disqualifies atheists from holding office or testifying as a witness in any court. 

Hear what David Barton, president and founder of Wall Builders, has to say on this YouTube video of “The Black Robed Regiment.”

Black Robed pastors play an important role in Revolutionary War

How fitting that the shot heard around the world that started America’s War of Independence was fired in Rev. Jonas Clark’s churchyard in Lexington, Massachusetts on the morning of April 19, 1775.  Rev. Jonas Clark, with the help of Captain John Parker, who had been training church members and other citizens in Lexington to fight as a military unit, led the Lexington Minutemen out to face the British. Not commonly known is that when Paul Revere rode through Lexington on the night of April 18, 1775 crying, “The Regulars are coming,” he was headed to the house of Rev. Jonas Clark. John Adams, who later became this nation’s second president,  proclaimed “Oh what a glorious morning this is” when told of the stand made by Pastor Jonas Clark and his Minutemen against the British Redcoats at Lexington.

Rev. James Caldwell of Elizabethtown, New Jersey, organized and led a sophisticated group of spies who kept General Washington and his army informed of the enemy’s movement. Fighting alongside his troops, Caldwell gave his life for the cause of liberty.

By the time the Battle of Bunker Hill was fought on June 17, 1775, pastors and their congregations from all over New England had rallied to the cause. Having marched to Boston, they joined with the rest of the Continental Army, dug in and prepared for a fight. Rev. Samuel McClintock of Greenland, New Hampshire, fought in the Battle of Bunker Hill (Three of McClintock’s four sons died defending liberty.). Rev. David Avery of Gageborough (Windsor), Vermont, with hands uplifted as he stood on Bunker Hill, asked “for the blessing of Heaven to crown our unworthy arms with success.”

Pastor Daniel McCalla of Charleston, Pa., offered his services at the outbreak of the war.  He was later captured as a prisoner of war.  Because of the deep hatred by the British for pastors who sided with the colonies, McCalla was imprisoned on a prison ship, as were many preachers, where he suffered misery beyond imagination for the cause of liberty.  Baptist preacher Charles Thompson was likewise sent to a prison ship where he died, after suffering horrendous conditions that many considered a fate worse than death.

Twenty-five-year-old Pastor Joab Trout on the eve of the Battle of Brandywine, Sept. 10, 1776, dying the next day fighting for freedom, offered a prayer for God to prosper the cause.

During the darkest days of that awful winter of 1777 – 1778 at Valley Forge, ministers Peter Muhlenberg, Joab Houghton, and David Avery served as chaplains for General George Washington, preaching to the discouraged and beleaguered troops to lift up their sagging morale. It was the preaching of the Black Regiment that, to a large degree, got the army through that bitter winter and helped save its ranks from being destroyed by desertion.

Liberties threatened once again in 21st century

The War of Independence is not yet over!  Not unlike the tyranny our Founders faced in 1776, this nation’s civil and religious liberties are being swept away in the 21th century one by one. As this nation edges closer and closer to the brink of disaster, the modern church and its leaders do not resemble those who fought and died to be free men. Few ministers seem aware of the problems this nation is facing, largely ignoring the highly organized enemy closing in around the Church. As for believers, they feel safe and protected within the church.

It was a different America in 1831 when Alexis de Tocqueville visited this country. Traveling widely, he took extensive notes about his observations and reflections. Returning in less than two years, Tocqueville published a report which resulted in the publication of De la démocratie en Amerique in 1835. Tocqueville had this to say about the role of religion in America:

It must never be forgotten that religion gave birth to Anglo-America society. In the United States, religion is therefore mingled with all the habits of the nation and all the feeling of patriotism, whence it derives a peculiar force.

Much has changed from that century to our own. The war fought then was with guns, swords, knives, and cannons. Today the war is fought with cleverly crafted words, political alignments, and a less than perfect media that chooses sides and the agenda the public will hear and read. The war of 2014 is far less bloody, but just as deadly, and definitely more difficult to win. In 1776 not everyone wanted war, but at least the issues were not all that complicated. It was about liberty: freedom for their families.

Today the issues of war have become far more difficult to understand. Largely problematic is how difficult it is for the public to discern truth from fiction.  Even more worrisome is that far fewer Americans care to even enter the battle of words,  attempt to discern what the truth really is, or what their role might be in the battle. With all the other cares within our lives, engaging in political words or actions today just requires too much time and becomes emotionally consuming. Americans have grown comfortable in their ignorance, avoiding the tough issues because they can. How much longer will it be before we become like the “frog in water” example: Comfortable until the water is too hot to move, and then there is no hope of survival.

What prompted such a dramatic change in the mentality of our people? There will always be dissension in the battle for ideals, but the balance can change and a side ultimately wins due to a single event that sets a new course. In the 20th century a grave mistake was made by the Supreme Court when the encouragement of religion was confused with the establishment of religion. The outcome restricted reading the Bible aloud in school, praying at school functions, and hanging the Ten Commandments in a classroom. That has since extended to removing prayer and the Ten Commandments from many other public places, where they once were considered essential. When God was removed, it left a vacuum quickly filled by the enemies of Christianity.  And what was filled by this vacuum?  What we have today, a society that borders on Sodom and Gomorrah.

Part 1: Thorner & O’Neil:  Calling all Christians    http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/09/ready-thorner-oneil-calling-all-christians-.html#more

Part 2:  Thorner & O’Neil: Calling all Church Leaders  http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/09/thorner-and-oneil-calling-all-church-leaders-.html#more

Part 3:  Thorner & O’Neil:  Church falls short if evangelizing is sole purpose  http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/09/thorner-and-oneil-church-falls-short-if-evangelizing-is-sole-purpose-part-iii.html

Part 5:  Facing a crisis much the same as the one faced this country in 1776, pastors and Christians must respond to God’s call and fully engage the culture before we lose our religious liberties and our opportunity to freely promote and practice our faith.

Thorner and O’Neil: Calling all Church Leaders – Part II

Gods-word

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Promoters of illicit materials and their ilk have likely been ecstatic over the many negative cultural changes in America, including the decline of membership and attendance at most American churches. Church attendance and membership began noticeably slowing down by the end of the 1950’s, and by 1990 the most popular denominations had lost between one-fifth and one-third of the membership they claimed in 1965. The proportion of Americans affiliated with a church had reached a 20th Century low. 

Studies to determine the reason for the continuing decline have revealed a variety of explanations, none of which suggest a singular cause. So why are today’s Americans no longer as involved in their churches as they once were?

Calvary Chapels buck the trend

A possible clue to the decrease of church membership can be seen in one of the few churches that actually grew during that same time period. It is the biblically conservative, nondenominational Calvary Chapels, which began in Orange County, California in the mid 1960’s, with 25 people and a dedicated pastor by the name of Chuck Smith, but grew to over 1,500 churches world-wide. Credit for that growth has been attributed to their strict interpretations of the Bible, their success at church planting, and their willingness to engage the destructive culture without condemning the individuals within it. They offered love, hope, and a way to embrace faith in God … exactly what most individuals seek but cannot always find. 

This excerpt from a sermon by Chuck Smith conveys an incredible message in which he expressed his vision for the church.Chuck Smith

Those who lived in the years preceding America’s moral decline, such as Pastor Chuck Smith and his wife Kay, were alarmed by the deteriorating culture, as are many others today, particularly those who had experienced the wholesome culture of the 1950’s. The Smiths had lived in and fully appreciated that time when life was simple but fulfilling, a time when Church was not just a building one visited on Sundays, but a way of life as well. Their hearts ached for the hopelessness they saw in the eyes of many of the younger generation who were deep into the drug use that was so prevalent in the 1960’s, often referred to as “hippies”.

Rather than condemn the addicts, the Smith family brought many of these drug addicted hippies to their home and provided needed food for their bodies as well as their souls. Basically, they “lived” the Word Pastor Chuck taught in his church, and experienced the miracles promised by God.

So began a powerful movement composed of many former addicts along with their friends and families, most of whom became believers after seeing God cure loved ones from the scourge of addiction; a deadly habit that money and doctors had not been able to cure.  Some of those new believers became pastors and command pulpits today. 

Nevertheless, despite the 1,500 newly planted Calvary Chapel churches, the culture crisis continued to worsen. It would take more than that a few growing church bodies to reverse the downward trend.

Sadly, the majority of mainstream church leaders have not examined the underlying reasons for the decline, and instead appear to have responded with an unprecedented silence, resisting political conversations and actions which might have invited a reversal of the downward trend.

Lack of response breeds vice and immorality

The failure by society and especially Christians to respond, allowed the country to be flooded with vices which had been lawfully forbidden, such as hard core pornography. The addiction to porn was every bit as damaging and harmful as drug addiction. Researchers found an abundance of evidence indicating the detrimental effects of pornography on individuals and society.

One study found that viewing pornography leads to a weakened sex drive, while another discovered that porn addiction distorts the brain the same way alcohol and drugs do, eventually causing irreparable harm to the user, families, and ultimately the community.

Our laws have become increasingly inconsistent; they forbid some harmful substances/activities while legalizing others that are equally or more destructive. What can or should be done to correct that? 

Immorality is not something any church or government can stop, but there are ways to minimize and contain it. Cigarette smoking is a good example of how a once highly popular pastime flourished when prominently promoted by advertisements and the media throughout America, only to become quickly unpopular later on and even repulsed by the majority of Americans. That reversal was largely due to a dedicated plan that warned the public of its health dangers, and a media which largely cooperative through negative warnings. Additionally, specific laws were enacted that helped curb its sales by excessive taxation to the buyer and restrictions for smoking in public places.

Unfortunately, historically established moral laws were reversed as well.

A prominent and arguably most grievous example is Roe vs. Wade, which paved the way for legalized abortions. How did that happen? Public attention was targeted on the few percent of women (who at the time were largely poor and/or Black) who harmed themselves by self-induced abortions and/or sought out “back alley” doctors to abort their unwanted babies. One-sided media reports and outrage from public officials helped pave the way for the historic Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973, which then became the catalyst for 50 million babies to be aborted since that fateful decision.

While there is a debate on when life begins, most people understand the fetus is a live, growing human being that if left uninterrupted in the womb, will produce a live birth. Anything that intentionally interferes in that process should be considered murder. How could that truth be denied? Apparently very easily, since the practice continues and the law is not being challenged, not even when it was discovered there were abortionists like Philadelphia’s Doctor Kermit Gosnell whose practices were barbaric to the point of murdering live babies after unsuccessful abortions!

There are people who profit from immoral activities, whether financially or politically, and they fight hard to prevent Christians and like-minded citizens from stopping that advantage. Most citizens are too busy or lack the skills required to wage a full-fledged fight that might change bad laws or enact new good ones. Thus, it is a relatively few people who have initiated the immoral changes that affect us all, and it would not take an insurmountable number of dedicated citizens to reverse the trend. Such people could be found in pews all over America, if informed of the facts.

Stopping the spread of immorality in America would have been difficult, but few of us even tried.  Most controversial bills were written and voted upon quietly, not wanting the public to pay attention, not wanting controversy associated with their names. That might have proved uncomfortable and/or even endangered chances for re-election. Thus immoral bills were enacted without much public awareness, attention, or comment. Once passed into law, the public was exposed to specific immoral temptations, much like the Genesis account involving picking and eating a forbidden fruit.

Thus the age old battle of good vs. evil continues. The question we should be asking is has Christianity in America declined as a result of these laws? Was the churches lack of addressing the immoral laws, and Christians not opposing bad bills at least partly the cause that lead to the decline in their congregations? People living in darkness often refuse to go into the light. Those with dark secrets prefer company that makes their sin easier to excuse.

Church forfeits its civic responsibility

Although there are varying reasons for the tepid response of the Church to inform congregations of bad bills, and the positions of candidates on issues, the most obvious one is fear of the A.C.L.U.’s threat that their tax exempt status could be revoked if they broke any federal election laws. If that threat had been investigated, the Church would have discovered that the warning was largely unwarranted. Instead of accepting the opinion of groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and their ilk who promote the questionable Court decision that promoted separation of church and state, they should investigate the law themselves.

Despite a few restrictions, such as the church being prohibited from financially supporting or specifically promoting specific candidates, the church is allowed to take part in the political process and fulfill many positive civic duties. Certainly voter registration tables and specific Christian voter guides are lawful. In fact, many believe it is the duty of churches to encourage their members to fulfill their civic responsibility and vote wisely.

The Illinois Family Institute  has non-partisan Voter Guides that comply with IRS guidelines that are legal for churches to distribute. They can be ordered by calling the IFI, David E. Smith Executive Director, at (708) 781-9328 or click HERE to send an email. You may wish to simply pass a guide along to neighbors, co-workers and family. Other states have credible Christian voter guides as well, that are informative and absolutely legal. With a minimal amount of time, Christians can cast their ballots and be proud of their choices, confident they voted wisely.

Another reason for churches to ignore the political issues of the day is fear that a pastor doing so might be offensive and cause some members to leave the church. I suspect good people could argue both sides of that argument, but does that philosophy also extend to avoiding and/or not discussing politically charged subjects such as abortion, homosexual marriage, pornography, and divorce with that same reasoning?  And how do church leaders explain sermons that dwell on the Old Testament, where there were warnings and consequences when the people preferred ungodly kings.

The position of president of the United States can be equated to Kings in biblical days. 2nd Chronicles 7:14 is as true today as it was in the days it was written. Some fear the Lord’s hand of protection has been removed from America, due to the sin that permeates the land and the Church that avoids talking about it or doing anything to correct it. 

Although history has shown that American churches grew when united against a righteous cause, the modern church seems to have largely chosen to opt out of the cultural debate and politics of any kind. Hear the prophetic statement made by George Orwell, author of the likewise prophetic “Animal Farm” published in 1946: “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” 

The tragic silence of the Church and Christians

Pastors once explained to their congregation which political candidates embraced biblical concepts. Given that most churches avoid preaching or discussing any politics, many Christians, busy with families, work, and the pressures of life, remain largely ignorant about how to mark their ballots. The result: They have simply stopped voting.

Today, less than 50% of Christians are registered and/or bother to vote. Thus the Church has been effectively silenced, much to the delight of liberals whose organizations have no trouble advising their members about such matters and more. Many church leaders have seemingly forgotten that laws reflect the policies and philosophies of those who govern us; those who make the laws have the ability to impact the moral direction of America.

What if there had been a resounding outcry from Christians when liberals first began initiating laws to remove Christianity from as many public places possible? What if our Church leaders would have investigated the law and discovered they could indeed inform their congregations of proposed laws that were morally unacceptable? If the Church had openly stated the positions and backgrounds of candidates, allowing their congregation to know the facts, would America look differently today? Would there have been successful challenges to laws that allowed abortion on demand? How many human lives might have been saved?

What if Christians had not yawned, ignored, and avoided politics, but instead had become actively involved in supporting groups that opposed immoral legislation and supported qualified Christians on their ballots? More importantly, how did their silence affect the congregation? Can the empty pews in America be equated to the empty sermons that avoided the tough subjects of the day? Could the Church’s silence regarding political matters, actually be the main cause of the decrease in Christians attending church today?

It is good to remember the Scriptures about God’s judgment on His people when they preferred ungodly kings; He removed His hand of protection from entire nations. We also know how God blessed His people when they chose leaders after His own heart, such as King David. Christians must pray for God’s wisdom and guidance, but not expect God to miraculously make all the changes. Prayer is a two-way conversation: We ask for His wisdom; He provides it when we are listening. Christians must not believe our job is finished with prayer, because in reality it is just the beginning. 

Part 1: Thorner & O’Neil: Calling all Christians http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/09/ready-thorner-oneil-calling-all-christians-.html#more 

Part 3:  Exploring the role of the Church as dictated by history, and the role of liberalism in stifling freedom of speech in the pulpit.

Thorner and O’Neil: Calling all Church Leaders – Part II

Gods-word

By Nancy Thorner and Bonnie O’Neil – 

Promoters of illicit materials and their ilk have likely been ecstatic over the many negative cultural changes in America, including the decline of membership and attendance at most American churches. Church attendance and membership began noticeably slowing down by the end of the 1950’s, and by 1990 the most popular denominations had lost between one-fifth and one-third of the membership they claimed in 1965. The proportion of Americans affiliated with a church had reached a 20th Century low. 

Studies to determine the reason for the continuing decline have revealed a variety of explanations, none of which suggest a singular cause. So why are today’s Americans no longer as involved in their churches as they once were?

Calvary Chapels buck the trend

A possible clue to the decrease of church membership can be seen in one of the few churches that actually grew during that same time period. It is the biblically conservative, nondenominational Calvary Chapels, which began in Orange County, California in the mid 1960’s, with 25 people and a dedicated pastor by the name of Chuck Smith, but grew to over 1,500 churches world-wide. Credit for that growth has been attributed to their strict interpretations of the Bible, their success at church planting, and their willingness to engage the destructive culture without condemning the individuals within it. They offered love, hope, and a way to embrace faith in God … exactly what most individuals seek but cannot always find. 

This excerpt from a sermon by Chuck Smith conveys an incredible message in which he expressed his vision for the church.

Those who lived in the years preceding America’s moral decline, such as Pastor Chuck Smith and his wife Kay, were alarmed by the deteriorating culture, as are many others today, particularly those who had experienced the wholesome culture of the 1950’s. The Smiths had lived in and fully appreciated that time when life was simple but fulfilling, a time when Church was not just a building one visited on Sundays, but a way of life as well. Their hearts ached for the hopelessness they saw in the eyes of many of the younger generation who were deep into the drug use that was so prevalent in the 1960’s, often referred to as “hippies”.

Rather than condemn the addicts, the Smith family brought many of these drug addicted hippies to their home and provided needed food for their bodies as well as their souls. Basically, they “lived” the Word Pastor Chuck taught in his church, and experienced the miracles promised by God.

So began a powerful movement composed of many former addicts along with their friends and families, most of whom became believers after seeing God cure loved ones from the scourge of addiction; a deadly habit that money and doctors had not been able to cure.  Some of those new believers became pastors and command pulpits today. 

Nevertheless, despite the 1,500 newly planted Calvary Chapel churches, the culture crisis continued to worsen. It would take more than that a few growing church bodies to reverse the downward trend.

Sadly, the majority of mainstream church leaders have not examined the underlying reasons for the decline, and instead appear to have responded with an unprecedented silence, resisting political conversations and actions which might have invited a reversal of the downward trend.

Lack of response breeds vice and immorality

The failure by society and especially Christians to respond, allowed the country to be flooded with vices which had been lawfully forbidden, such as hard core pornography. The addiction to porn was every bit as damaging and harmful as drug addiction. Researchers found an abundance of evidence indicating the detrimental effects of pornography on individuals and society.

One study found that viewing pornography leads to a weakened sex drive, while another discovered that porn addiction distorts the brain the same way alcohol and drugs do, eventually causing irreparable harm to the user, families, and ultimately the community.

Our laws have become increasingly inconsistent; they forbid some harmful substances/activities while legalizing others that are equally or more destructive. What can or should be done to correct that? 

Immorality is not something any church or government can stop, but there are ways to minimize and contain it. Cigarette smoking is a good example of how a once highly popular pastime flourished when prominently promoted by advertisements and the media throughout America, only to become quickly unpopular later on and even repulsed by the majority of Americans. That reversal was largely due to a dedicated plan that warned the public of its health dangers, and a media which largely cooperative through negative warnings. Additionally, specific laws were enacted that helped curb its sales by excessive taxation to the buyer and restrictions for smoking in public places.

Unfortunately, historically established moral laws were reversed as well.

A prominent and arguably most grievous example is Roe vs. Wade, which paved the way for legalized abortions. How did that happen? Public attention was targeted on the few percent of women (who at the time were largely poor and/or Black) who harmed themselves by self-induced abortions and/or sought out “back alley” doctors to abort their unwanted babies. One-sided media reports and outrage from public officials helped pave the way for the historic Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973, which then became the catalyst for 50 million babies to be aborted since that fateful decision.

While there is a debate on when life begins, most people understand the fetus is a live, growing human being that if left uninterrupted in the womb, will produce a live birth. Anything that intentionally interferes in that process should be considered murder. How could that truth be denied? Apparently very easily, since the practice continues and the law is not being challenged, not even when it was discovered there were abortionists like Philadelphia’s Doctor Kermit Gosnell whose practices were barbaric to the point of murdering live babies after unsuccessful abortions!

There are people who profit from immoral activities, whether financially or politically, and they fight hard to prevent Christians and like-minded citizens from stopping that advantage. Most citizens are too busy or lack the skills required to wage a full-fledged fight that might change bad laws or enact new good ones. Thus, it is a relatively few people who have initiated the immoral changes that affect us all, and it would not take an insurmountable number of dedicated citizens to reverse the trend. Such people could be found in pews all over America, if informed of the facts.

Stopping the spread of immorality in America would have been difficult, but few of us even tried.  Most controversial bills were written and voted upon quietly, not wanting the public to pay attention, not wanting controversy associated with their names. That might have proved uncomfortable and/or even endangered chances for re-election. Thus immoral bills were enacted without much public awareness, attention, or comment. Once passed into law, the public was exposed to specific immoral temptations, much like the Genesis account involving picking and eating a forbidden fruit.

Thus the age old battle of good vs. evil continues. The question we should be asking is has Christianity in America declined as a result of these laws? Was the churches lack of addressing the immoral laws, and Christians not opposing bad bills at least partly the cause that lead to the decline in their congregations? People living in darkness often refuse to go into the light. Those with dark secrets prefer company that makes their sin easier to excuse.

Church forfeits its civic responsibility

Although there are varying reasons for the tepid response of the Church to inform congregations of bad bills, and the positions of candidates on issues, the most obvious one is fear of the A.C.L.U.’s threat that their tax exempt status could be revoked if they broke any federal election laws. If that threat had been investigated, the Church would have discovered that the warning was largely unwarranted. Instead of accepting the opinion of groups like the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and their ilk who promote the questionable Court decision that promoted separation of church and state, they should investigate the law themselves.

Despite a few restrictions, such as the church being prohibited from financially supporting or specifically promoting specific candidates, the church is allowed to take part in the political process and fulfill many positive civic duties. Certainly voter registration tables and specific Christian voter guides are lawful. In fact, many believe it is the duty of churches to encourage their members to fulfill their civic responsibility and vote wisely.

The Illinois Family Institute  has non-partisan Voter Guides that comply with IRS guidelines that are legal for churches to distribute. They can be ordered by calling the IFI, David E. Smith Executive Director, at (708) 781-9328 or click HERE to send an email. You may wish to simply pass a guide along to neighbors, co-workers and family. Other states have credible Christian voter guides as well, that are informative and absolutely legal. With a minimal amount of time, Christians can cast their ballots and be proud of their choices, confident they voted wisely.

Another reason for churches to ignore the political issues of the day is fear that a pastor doing so might be offensive and cause some members to leave the church. I suspect good people could argue both sides of that argument, but does that philosophy also extend to avoiding and/or not discussing politically charged subjects such as abortion, homosexual marriage, pornography, and divorce with that same reasoning?  And how do church leaders explain sermons that dwell on the Old Testament, where there were warnings and consequences when the people preferred ungodly kings.

The position of president of the United States can be equated to Kings in biblical days. 2nd Chronicles 7:14 is as true today as it was in the days it was written. Some fear the Lord’s hand of protection has been removed from America, due to the sin that permeates the land and the Church that avoids talking about it or doing anything to correct it. 

Although history has shown that American churches grew when united against a righteous cause, the modern church seems to have largely chosen to opt out of the cultural debate and politics of any kind. Hear the prophetic statement made by George Orwell, author of the likewise prophetic “Animal Farm” published in 1946: “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it.” 

The tragic silence of the Church and Christians

Pastors once explained to their congregation which political candidates embraced biblical concepts. Given that most churches avoid preaching or discussing any politics, many Christians, busy with families, work, and the pressures of life, remain largely ignorant about how to mark their ballots. The result: They have simply stopped voting.

Today, less than 50% of Christians are registered and/or bother to vote. Thus the Church has been effectively silenced, much to the delight of liberals whose organizations have no trouble advising their members about such matters and more. Many church leaders have seemingly forgotten that laws reflect the policies and philosophies of those who govern us; those who make the laws have the ability to impact the moral direction of America.

What if there had been a resounding outcry from Christians when liberals first began initiating laws to remove Christianity from as many public places possible? What if our Church leaders would have investigated the law and discovered they could indeed inform their congregations of proposed laws that were morally unacceptable? If the Church had openly stated the positions and backgrounds of candidates, allowing their congregation to know the facts, would America look differently today? Would there have been successful challenges to laws that allowed abortion on demand? How many human lives might have been saved?

What if Christians had not yawned, ignored, and avoided politics, but instead had become actively involved in supporting groups that opposed immoral legislation and supported qualified Christians on their ballots? More importantly, how did their silence affect the congregation? Can the empty pews in America be equated to the empty sermons that avoided the tough subjects of the day? Could the Church’s silence regarding political matters, actually be the main cause of the decrease in Christians attending church today?

It is good to remember the Scriptures about God’s judgment on His people when they preferred ungodly kings; He removed His hand of protection from entire nations. We also know how God blessed His people when they chose leaders after His own heart, such as King David. Christians must pray for God’s wisdom and guidance, but not expect God to miraculously make all the changes. Prayer is a two-way conversation: We ask for His wisdom; He provides it when we are listening. Christians must not believe our job is finished with prayer, because in reality it is just the beginning. 

Part 1: Thorner & O’Neil: Calling all Christians http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/09/ready-thorner-oneil-calling-all-christians-.html#more 

Part 3:  Exploring the role of the Church as dictated by history, and the role of liberalism in stifling freedom of speech in the pulpit.

 
 
 

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Friday, August 29, 2014

Thorner & O’Neil: Part 1 – Christian persecution beyond the Middle East

By Nancy Thorner & Bonnie O’Neil – 

Are Christians in America Under Attack? We know that Christians around the World are suffering and even being murdered simply because they profess to be Christians.  The result has prompted a Judo-Christian Culture that is at war with Islam. Jews and Christians know this important commandment: “Choose life”: Deuteronomy 30:19, because it pushes forward the narrative of growth, learning, and moral advancement. As Golda Meir once said, “Peace will come to the Middle East when the Arabs love their children more than they hate us.” Sadly, Muslims love death and submission to Islam more than they value life. As stated in the Koran 3:151:  “We will put terror into the hearts of the unbelievers.”

Islam demands much of their followers. A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life found that 64 nations — about one-third of the countries in the world — have high or very high restrictions on religion. Because most restrictive countries are also very populous, the percent of people under severe religious restrictions rises to 70 percent of the world’s 6.8 billion people. Those people are often subjected to excessive restrictions, and live their lives intensely obedient to their religious beliefs and their leaders’ commands. Christians living in Muslim countries face more than just restrictions. Professing their faith or failing to deny their God can result in a mandate to “convert or be killed” and/or being falsely accused of a crime which will cause a long and miserable imprisonment. It is there where you will most likely be regularly beaten by guards and Muslim prisoners who do not tolerate any religion but their own.

A Muslim convert to Christianity is victimized

Saeed Abednini has been a victim of that Islamic intolerance.  Born and raised in Iran as a Muslim, Saeed moved to America, fell in love and married his first love.  He learned of Jesus. and converted to Christianity, eventually becoming an ordained minister.  Shortly after the birth of his two children, Saeed went back to visit his Iranian family and build an orphanage in Iran, but was arrested and charged with “compromising national security”:  Iran’s excuse for punishing those who refuse to renounce their Christian faith.  The Iranian government sentenced Saeed to 8 years in prison.  He has served 2 years of that sentence, and during that time has endured torture from both officials and prisoners.   His repeated beatings and left him in such poor health, that his life is now in serious danger.   His devoted wife will not give up hope, and thus  travels around the world, especially in America, doing her best to remind Christians of Saeed’s plight and with the hope our government will reignite negotiations for his release.

As horrendous as that treatment has been in Iran for Saeed, the World has been witnessing something so horrific in Iraq that it is hard to comprehend such evil exists.  I.S.I.S, the recently formed terrorist group comprised of jihadists from many countries and who claim religious authority over Muslims world-wide, has astounded the World by conducting a ruthless, merciless killing spree in Iraq.  In June 2014, ISIS’s, with an estimated 4,000 fighters murdered thousands of civilians, most of whom were innocent Christians whose family’s roots date back to the first century of Christianity.  It is estimated that 450 thousand Christians have been brutally murdered.   It is genocide – a crime against humanity.  But Isis threatens people world-wide, not just the Christians in Iraq.

Christians in America are not subjected to anything near that type of persecution, but mounting evidence indicates there has been a definite decades-long attack on Christianity and morality in America.   It has been subtle and gradual; few have paid much attention to it.   That tactic by opponents of Christianity is smart, because anything more obvious or severe would alert the 78.4 percent of Americans who identify themselves as Christians, and thus motivate and energize the approximately 240 million Americans to fight back against any actions they deem threatening to their families or their faith. 

Yet most pastors and priests seem unaware or at least unwilling to fight back against an equally horrendous danger to their faith and families:  the invasive immorality and loss of biblical values that has and is cursing our land.  Where is the outrage among Christians?  What are they doing to protect their children from the drugs, gangs, unbiblical laws, lack of respect for traditional values, and attacks on Christianity from within.  Are they strongly preaching against these sins from the pulpit?  Do Christian parents daily teach their children respect for others, especially for their Lord and Savior?   It seems Christians even fight among themselves, especially when of a different racial background.  This is not what their Bibles or Christian faith teaches.  This is important because if we are to retain the purity of our faith, we must live it according to the Word so easily available to each of us.

Liberal progressives chip away at Christian values

Our forefathers lived their faith; they believed and followed the Words of their Bible.  What happened?  How did this Immorality slip into our society and chip away at Christian values one law, one smear, one lost freedom, and one negative anti-Christian article or speech at a time. Think back to the 1950’s for an answer, when liberal progressives boldly and intently began changing our culture and laws. 

During the 1950’s there began a shift in American culture, largely inspired by the “Beat Generation”,  a group of post-World War II writers such as Allen Ginsburg and Jack Kerouac, who became known for rejecting materialism while experimenting with drugs and sexual liberation.  That trend continued and expanded during the 1960’s, largely due to Timothy Leary and his associates who took advantage of a generation of young, confused, unhappy adults angered by the Viet Nam war and seeking a quick fix to forget their lack of interest in life.   They were easy targets for extensive drug experimentation that led to a reckless, irresponsible society whose marks can still be seen today.  The movie “The Giver” provides a glimpse into what happens when a society seeks to anesthetize themselves from that which is difficult or harsh. Drugs are enticing in that they allow “users” to escape from reality, but in the process they become prisoners unable to reach their potential and ultimately dependent upon society. Their ability to relate to God, to the Church, and even to their families is lost in a fuzzy world of make believe. 

Influence of Weatherman Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn

The decades of the 50’s and 60’s inserted a type of poison into our society that remains today.  Products of that era remain at war with religion, moral codes, and historical values that Americans have treasured for centuries.  Recently Meagan Kelly of FOX News hosted a debate of sorts between Bill Ayers and Dinesh D’Souza over whether America is exceptional.  Ayers, a product of the 50’s and 60’s argued against that premise, while Iranian born D’Souza spoke of America as the most amazing country in the World with words that conveyed unequivocal love for his new Country.  D’Souza explains why America is exceptional in such a sincere and beautiful way as to invoke an immediate sense of pride.  

Bill Ayers was one of the founders and leaders of the Weather underground.  He is an unrepentant terrorist whose group bombed at least 20 American sites.  In his book “Fugitive Day,”  Ayes characterized Weatherman as “an American Red Army,” summing up the organization’s ideology as follows:  “Kill all the rich people.  Break up their cars and apartments.  Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents.”  Ayes joined the Communist Party as an active member.  

Instead of being in jail for his acts of terrorism, he and his wife (also a weather underground terrorist and a professed Communist) became professors in our nation’s universities, teaching our children liberal propaganda in their classrooms.  Bill Ayes retired from the College of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2010, while his wife,Bernadine Dohrn, remains a clinical Associate Professor of Law at Northwestern University.  Ayers and Dohrn were joined by many other liberal professors through the years, resulting in colleges and universities throughout this nation now comprised of 90% self-confessed liberals.  A question that is deserving of our consideration is:  “Why were Ayers and Dohrn, two exceedingly liberal and unrepentant terrorists, allowed to be professors in American schools?”  Unsuspecting parents spend hundreds of thousands of dollars sending their precious children into classrooms with left leaning professors, and then wonder why their children return home with progressive, atheist, anti-American leanings.    

The scarcity of Conservatives in places of higher learning brings into question the liberal mantra which demands “diversity and justice.”  It also provides evidence as to why there appears to be a war on conservatism and Christianity in America today.   Our citizens are either unaware of this travesty or think they must tolerate this lack of diversity in our institutes of higher learning.  These are the same professors who teach and often demand “equality” and “diversity” when the subject deals with their non-traditional social issues.  Why do we accept the hiring practices of colleges/universities that are openly prejudiced against Conservative professors?  The few token Conservatives who are hired do not feel free to oppose the liberal agenda that permeates the institutions.

Candidate Obama and later President Obama ushers in negative change

It is not an idle claim that Ayers and his friends continue to influence American politics and society.  Consider that Bill Ayers had a relationship with Candidate Obama, which both denied during the election period.  Yet, Ayers held a fund raiser at his home for Barack Obama, and they served on a Board together for several years.   An interesting question is why they denied a relationship and why the media kept quiet about those facts.  Candidate Obama also minimized his association with the Reverend Wright, even though Reverend Wright videos demonstrated his anti-American rants. Wright’s famous quote “God d_ _ _ America” became public and Obama distanced himself immediately.  It is interesting that Wright was not unlike Bill Ayers in condemning America?        

It speaks volumes that America elected a relatively unknown and inexperienced candidate for president; a man whose past should have raised red flags, but was ignored.  He was the most inexperienced candidates in the race for the most powerful position in the country;   He won over a man who was exceedingly experienced, with an impeccable reputation, and a poster boy of achieving the American dream.  The media rarely exposed Obama’s inexperience, that he was raised in Africa, that his parents and grandparents were Muslims and/or Communists.  He spent his boyhood in Africa and went to Muslim dominated schools.  Can such a person truly understand the depth of patriotism like those who served as president before him?  Many would say his actions and decisions of the past 6 years do not always reflect the deep love for country expected and seen in past presidents.  Yet, the majority of Americans voted for him …. twice.    

Few dispute there has been a major change in the culture of our Country since the 1950’s and 60’s, and Obama ushered in many of those changes.  Where once Communism was a word that could only be whispered, due to its negative connotations, today people proudly parade signs indicating they are members of the Communist Party.  Are these people ignorant of what a privilege it is to be in a country with freedoms denied to those under Communism?  One of the Communists goals is to abolish religion.  We witness much progress by the Communists and liberals among us today, as they continue to infiltrate so many areas of our country and culture.  Many are wondering “what happened to the country I knew and loved?”  Folks, the answer is “we were not paying attention, and it has silently slipped away”.

Part 2 of Article One:  Explored will be the hostility that is happening here in America toward professed Christians, as a myriad of policies and decisions from the White House are eroding Christian morals and values, in tandem with the indoctrination of our children by liberals, humanists, and atheists in our classrooms?

Friday, August 29, 2014 at 10:29 AM | Permalink

 

 

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Illinois Forum celebrates 25 years banding together freedom lovers

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Joe Walsh keynoted Illinois Forum’s 25-year celebration Saturday in Champaign

By Nancy Thorner – 

The Illinois Forum celebrated its 25th Anniversary with a banquet on Saturday, August 23rd, at the Round Barn Banquet Center in Champaign, Illinois. The Illinois Forum was founded by Robert S. Redfern and U.S. Congressman Dan Crane in 1989 as a statewide grassroots coalition of nonpartisan political activists.  Since 1989 Illinois Forum has become one of the largest citizen groups in the state working to promote a smaller state government, to restrain spending, and to encourage tax cuts.

Redfern continues to serve as Chairman of Illinois Forum, with Daniel Crane as its Board Chairman. Additionally there is a Board of Governors consisting of 19 additional individuals from various parts of Illinois. The Hon. Phil Crane (Wauconda) is a member of the Board of Governors.  Heading the the list of eleven pledges cited in the Illinois Forum Pledge for Better Government is “Term limits for Illinois constitutional offices.”  

Illinois Forum, first group to issue a proposal for term limits in Illinois

Following the “Pledge of Allegiance” and the Invocation, Robert Redfern, as Chairman of the Illinois Forum, welcomed those gathered, with comments on the issue of term limit.  It was only the day before, Friday, August 22, that Bruce Rauner was dealt a blow when the IL Supreme Court rejected Rauner’s request.

It was in 1989 when Robert Redfern called together 60 individuals to create the Illinois Forum as a non-partisan group to get something done in Springfield.  The first project put together by the newly formed group, and the first group to do so in the state, was a term limits proposal limiting service in either the House or the Senate to 10 years.  The 10-year time limit was retroactive.  Anyone who had already served 10 year had to leave.

The term limits referendum Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner wanted to appear on the November 4 ballot would not have been supported by Redfern, as it reduced Senate Districts from 59 to 41.  Furthermore, the initiative didn’t even kick in until January 1, 2023!   As such Rauner’s proposal was not good for the people of Illinois.  It would have been especially devastating for those living in downstate Illinois where constituents many times would have been 100 miles or more away from their state senator. 

In speaking with Robert Redfern by telephone after the event, Thorner was informed that four years ago a petition initiated by Illinois Forum was to change the General Assembly from meeting every year to every two years, with a budget to reflect the two-year period. This would cut down immeasurably on the 7,000 bills now advanced in committees every session, and, most importantly, on the amount of taxpayer money spent.

Robert Redfern then invited Jim Tobin to join him at the podium.  Jim Tobin, president of Tax Payers United for America, presented outrageous facts about IL State Pensions.  Click on the link noted on the left side of this Tax Payers United of America website to hear Jim Tobin speak about IL State Pensions on a CBS Chicago WBBM News Radio program aired 4/30/14.  Per the annual April, 2014, report issued by the Taxpayers Unit For American, there are 78,000 state pensioners who receive more than 50,000 a year and 11,000 who receive more than 100,000.  Larry Flemming, a retired educator was noted as a pensioner who is projected to receive an 11 million lifetime payout.  Yearly payment amount to $258,163, yet Mr. Flemming paid in only $326,000 or 2.8% of his estimated lifetime pension payments.  Handed out by Jim Tobin was a sheet containing State of Illinois Top 200 Government Pension as of April 1, 20l4. Remarked by Tobin is how unfunded pensions in IL went from $100 billion to $200 billion even after the income tax hike by Quinn.

Fair.Tax Nation  was represented by Marilyn Rickert.  Although Ms. Rickert didn’t speak, literature was handed out.  Its mission is to Replace All Federal Taxes on Income with the Fair Tax Act , HR 25 and S 122. Visit this site for grass roots participation information

Comments were heard from three Illinois candidates, all who advanced conservative values and policies.  Unfortunately all three are unknowns outside of their own districts.

  • Dianne Harris is running for state legislator in Will County, 86th District.  As a staunch conservative, Dianne wants to serve but never be self-serving.
  • Julie Fox (Juliefox2014.com) is a candidate for state Comptroller as a Libertarian Party candidate. She’s both an accountant and a CPA, and believes that all elected Comptrollers should first be accountants.  Being a Libertarian, Ms. Fox would not be beholden to either major party.
  • Mark Smith is running for governor.  He is a Christian with a firm belief in God, who believes that God must be put back into government.  Mark will take God with him into office. Mark gave up his job in the U.S. Postal System to campaign for governor.

Introduction of Joe Walsh as Featured Speaker

Rick Biesada, co-founder of the Chicago Minuteman Project, introduced Joe Walsh as a Walsh supporter since Joe’s congressional campaign in 2010.  Biesada noted that the Republican establishment and the media were 100% against Joe. What prompted Biesada to throw his support enthusiastically behind Walsh was when the media reported that Walsh had his house foreclosed on him.  At this point Biesada knew that Walsh was his man, for this made Walsh just like an ordinary average person.  A prudent comment made by Rick Biesada is how the Republican and Democrat Party are but one party with two wings.  A bit of humor took place when Mr. Biesada, after finishing his remarks, forgot to extend a welcome for guest speaker Joe Walsh to advance to the podium.   

Undaunted and in his usual spirited way, Joe Walsh, now a talk show radio host on AM560, didn’t miss a beat as he bounded to the front of the room to inform attendees with his booming voice that a podium or a microphone weren’t for him. Emphasized by Walsh is that he considers himself a Tea Party member, not a Republican. Elected in 2010, Walsh spoke of the promises he had made while campaigning and which he then honored when sent to Congress to represent the 8th District. Among them were:  He would never vote to increase the size of government; he would sleep on the floor of his office; he would not take his health care or pension benefits; he would face the pubic by holding open town hall meetings, and he would limit himself to six years in the U.S. House. 

While campaigning, Walsh faced skepticism over his campaign promises, even from one of his most ardent supporters, Rick Biesada.  But what kept Joe in line with every vote when in Washington, D.C. was knowing that Rick Biesada would not be at all happy with him if pledges were broken.  As it was, Walsh held 363 town meeting, more than any other legislator in Congress. All were open to the public.  Walsh likewise voted against every single budget bill Congress tried to pass that raised taxes. Unfortunately, Walsh was sent home after two years.

Joe Walsh rips apart Common Core AP History course

Joe Walsh went on to explain that we have somewhere between four and five years remaining to change the direction of this nation, a nation that is fast progressing toward Socialism with atheism as the norm.  It doesn’t help that U.S. History will take a drastic left turn this fall.  The AP History course, which will be taken by the nation’s best and brightest high school students, rewrites America’s past, cutting out the Founding Fathers.  George Washington is only given a quick, passing nod; our founding document, the “Declaration of Independence”, merits only two brief mentions.  What is more, children are taught a hatred for their country.  Not surprising is that David Coleman, Common Core’s architect, is responsible for writing the new AP History standards.

As related by Walsh, it’s no longer a free country when the government takes 60 cents of every dollar; when its citizens  can’t carry a firearm wherever they go for protection; and when government can force a Catholic priest into jail if he doesn’t do what government wants him to do.

Regarding the Ferguson shooting, according to Walsh most of America just doesn’t get it.  The Ferguson shooting of a black teenager by a policeman had nothing to do with race or the victim Michael Brown.  Rather, it has only to do with one man’s innocence or guilt.  Eric Holder’s entrance onto the scene, served to stoke the already burning fire of the felt hostility of blacks against white cops.

While in Congress Joe Walsh was blunt and forceful in his rhetoric, not unlike the tone of his remarks before the Illinois Forum gathering.  There was, however, a difference.  The Republican Party didn’t wish to hear what Walsh had to say.  Joe Walsh went on to say that he considers House Speaker John Boehner clueless as to what to do and even in understanding what is presently going on in this country. 

Joe Walsh on Republicans and Amnesty with hint of a third party threat 

Concerning amnesty, Walsh knows why Democrats want amnesty.  It is for the votes, 19 million of them.  But what about Republicans?  Congressional Republicans are scared to death if they don’t support amnesty.  Out of the 233 Republican representatives in Congress, only twenty-eight agree with Joe’s stance against amnesty.  All others want to pass an amnesty bill after November.  It Republicans do pass amnesty, warned Walsh, this will end the Republican Party.  It isn’t what Walsh wants to happen, but this would so rile the Republican conservative base that a new party would surely emerge.  It can truly be said that most Republicans are not adverse to big government, just as they are convinced amnesty would benefit this nation.  Is it any wonder why this nation is in the trouble it is in today?  Even with Obamacare, which represents 1/6 of this nation’s economy, and which passed in the dead of night with a purely partisan Democratic vote, little is heard from House Republicans about repealing it.  Much of the talk involves nibbling around the edges of a bill which is still evolving and which can’t be fixed. 

Walsh believes we have not been so close to losing our nation since the Civil War, and that presently we are going through a revolutionary period of time. Many Americans have no clue as to what was created by our Founding Fathers as the foundation upon this nation was built, as embodied in the “Declaration of Independence” and the “Constitution.”  As a nation we are close to losing it if we don’t do what it will take to preserve it.  The Republican Party is our only chance to take this country back.  If the party refuses to fight in the next six years, it’s goodbye for America.  It took 100 years for this nation to get to the point she is now at: morally and financially bankrupt.  i.e.: While all seniors are taken care of under Medicare, only seniors who are really needy should be afforded this type of care. 

Joe Walsh bemoans what has become a stupid country

Obama was an accidental president, as reflected by a nation which has morphed into a stupid country.  Inform your elected representatives in no uncertain terms, that if they don’t start straightening up to change what is happening, then you will go elsewhere.  Even should Republicans miraculously begin to understand the urgency to change policy, it might take an election or two to get government out of our lives.  Our Founding Fathers would be appalled to see what has happened to a nation conceived with such hope and promise. Yet today there is more government tension and control in our lives than what our Founding Fathers were escaping from in the Old World.   

Here in Illinois and at the federal level a false belief exists that if Republicans are elected here and there all will be fine.    History tells us that most great nations last only 264 years.  We are now somewhere in the middle of the 4th quarter.  Time is of the essence.  There is no time to lose if we care about what succeeding generation of Americans will inherit from us.  Are you willing to allow what was once a proud and prosperous nation to slip into the dustbin of history? 

An addendum to Joe’s remarks

A hand was raised after Joe Walsh finished his comments, comments that were received very warmly and with hearty applause.  The hand belonged to David Crane, a practicing Indianapolis lawyer and psychiatrist, and a brother of Dan and Phil Crane.  His comments were worth noting, as they were in line with the concerns of the writer.

  • American is doomed.  It took 100 years for the liberal take over to happen which started in 1910.  We have blown it during the past 100 years, doing nothing to stop the liberal advance. Why should it take less time to take our nation back?
  • Precincts must be filled to get the vote out.  Young people must be trained.  50% of precincts are empty in Illinois.  The Republican Party in Illinois has all sorts of excuses as to why it can’t win, but had Bill Brady obtained 2 or 3 more votes in each Illinois precinct, he would now be governor instead of Pat Quinn. 
  • Illinois ranks 49th in the loss of personal rights.
  • In speaking about FDR, the only area of agreement is that organized labor shouldn’t have any place in government.  Other than that, FDR has helped place this nation in the shape it is in today.

 WE CAN’T AFFORD TO SIT OUT THIS ELECTION CYCLE!.  GET TO WORK TO SAVE THIS NATION!

 
 

Friday, August 22, 2014

 

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By Nancy Thorner – 

On June 2nd of this year the Obama administration announced new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with a goal of reducing carbon emissions over the next 15 years. These goals as outlined by the EPA in the Clean Power Plan impose significant restrictions on power plants already in existence, even natural gas plants. Power plants are cited by the EPA as the largest source of carbon pollution in the U.S., accounting for roughly on-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions.

The reasons given by the EPA for its new regulations are in keeping with blaming man’s emission of CO2 as the cause for runaway global warming, yet the global temperature has remained flat over the past 17 years. History tells us that natural climate variability has happened over the centuries; i.e. the Medieval Warm Period was warmer than today. In 2009 some prominent alarmists are on record saying that if temperatures remained flat for 15-20 years, the scientific community needs to re-evaluate the theory. Three years later in 2012 a report in the UK Daily Mail revealed the following from a quietly released Met Office report:   

 
  • The figures reveal that from the beginning of 1997 until August 2012 there was no discernible rise in aggregate global temperatures
  • This means that the ‘pause’ in global warming has now lasted for about the same time as the previous period when temperatures rose, 1980 to 1996

It’s 2014 and we’re now near the twenty-year time frame to re-evaluate the theory of global warming, but will it be possible to stop the new EPA regulations with the powerful force of government behind them? 

According to the EPA, its Power Plan proposal will put Americans to work, make the U.S. electricity system less polluting and our homes and businesses more efficient, and shrink electricity bills by 8% in 2030.  If this sound too good to be true, it is!  According to an article by Katie Pavlich, “What you need to know about Obama’s new EPA regulations,” the regulations will negatively impact the economy in the following ways: 

-New regulations will kill 226,000 American jobs.

-New regulations will cost the U.S. economy $51 billion per year.

-Even with new regulations, carbon is only expected to decrease by 1.8 percent by 2030.

-Despite EPA claims new regulations will reduce the cost of power, electricity rates are expected to go up, as coal-fired plants, the dominant source of cheap power, shut down in response to environmental regulations, further making new coal power plants impossible to build.

Later this year the EPA will decide whether it should tighten the air-quality standard for ground level ozone. In 2008 the EPA set ozone standards for air quality at 75 parts per billion (ppb).  Even before states have fully implemented the 2008 standards, the EPA is expected to propose revising it to as low as 60 ppb.  A new study for the National Association of Manufacturers by NERA Economic Consulting, finds that “the new ozone standard could cost Americans $170 billion annually, put millions of jobs at risk, and drastically increase energy prices for consumers and manufacturers.” 

The Heartland Institute is circulating a “Citizen’s Petition to Rein in the Environmental Protection Agency.” You can read and sign the online petition below, download a hard copy of the petition, or contact The Heartland Institute at 312/377-4000 and ask that a petition be sent to sign, or for multiple copies to distribute to your family and friends. 

Thorner first learned about Heartland’s call to action petition to reign in the EPA when receiving it as a handout at the The Ninth International Conference on Climate Change  which took place from July 7-9, 2014 in Las Vegas.  Some 650 scientists, economists, policy experts, and guests attended the ICCC9 conference, all willing to question whether man-made global warming is a problem worth addressing.  The ICCC9 schedule can be viewed here.  Videos (and PowerPoint presentations, when available) from every presenter can be seen here.

The nine statements in The Heartland Institute’s petition are capsules of knowledge gained through hard scientific data and observations as documented through published reports by the NIPPCC (Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change), which counter the reports put forth by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change).  Given the devastating consequences of the proposed EPA regulation, an urgency exists for deep cuts in the size, power and cost of the EPA.  Below are the nine petition statement, each of which is proceeded by “Whereas”: 

1.  For decades an unprecedented campaign has been waged to scare the American people into believing their health, safety and even survival was at stake because of manmade global warming.

2.  We were told that CO2, which makes up less than one-half of one-tenth of one percent of our atmosphere, is acting like a blanket, keeping the heat in, and it was going to cause the baking of the Earth.

3.  The hard scientific data now show that the predicted rise in global temperatures just plainly did not happen. 

4.  Sea ice in the Arctic is rebounding and continues to expand in the Antarctic, despite predictions of the opposite, polar bears are thriving, and sea levels are not rising.

5.  Deaths due to extreme weather are radically declining and global tropical cyclone activity is at near record lows.

6.  It is now clear that the global warming alarmists are wrong and a large majority of Americans now understand it was a hoax.  It’s false that man reducing CO2 emissions — especially the U.S. virtually alone — will have any effect on the global temperature.

7.  Regulators at the EPA, having lost their war to scare America into giving them legislation that would allow them to seize control of virtually all energy production and use, are perverting the Clean Air law to give themselves unprecedented powers to regulate American society. 

8.  The toll the EPA is now taking on this country is staggering, putting hundreds of thousands of Americans out of work. 

9.  The only way a new president or a new Congress will undo the terrible damage being inflicted by the EPA after the election is if we make it a major issue NOW, BEFORE THE ELECTION, so that after the election even those who support the EPA’s reckless regulations will understand it is political suicide to support them.

First revealed at The Ninth International Conference on Climate Change in Las Vegas in July, was a plan by Jay Lehr, Ph.D, science director at The Heartland Institute to replace the EPA.  Dr. Lehr’s plan, “Replacing the Environmental Protection Agency,” was posted on July 15 at Heartland as a policy document.  Click to read the full text of this document59.97 KB

In Congress Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.) has called for legislation that would ban the EPA from issuing rules through the proposed EPA’s Waters of the United States program, which would wreak havoc on farmers and possibly drive up food prices.

The E.P.A. says the new rules are needed to clarify which bodies of water it must oversee under the federal Clean Water Act

The EPA has outlived its usefulness.  Don’t delay by downloading and signing The Heartland Institute petition as a citizen concerned about the overreach of the EPA and its proposals which point to economic disaster for this nation.