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Commentary on world events that relate to Bible prophecy and on Rapture Ready issues world events.




 

April 6, 2015

Religious Freedom Laws

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was passed in Indiana with the purpose of preventing the government from compelling individuals to do things they object to on religious grounds; like catering or providing flowers for gay weddings. Nineteen other states have similar laws.

The ink wasn't even dry on the Indiana law before the liberal media jumped in to make this a fight over gay rights. The concern was that Indiana didn't have a state law specifically protecting gay people from discrimination. The press has already set forth the narrative that everyone is now going to boycott Indiana businesses because of the new law-turning the Hoosier state into an economic wasteland. They made the same dire predictions about Christian owned Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, but those firms are still doing fine.

The left seems to think laws that protect religious views are only good if they involve liberal ideas. Nobody is going into a kosher deli and demanding to be served a pork sandwich. There is no Jew saying, "I insist that Muhammad caters my son's Bar Mitzvah." None of the Westboro Baptist Church Protestors have argued that gay lawyers represent them in court.

The law in Indiana is simply a retread of The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. That measure was introduced by Congressman Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. It was set up to allow Native Americans to get around drug laws with their use of peyote in traditional ceremonies.

The issue of religious freedom should be a matter of common sense. When a gay couple asked a Denver bakery to fulfill an order for their same-sex wedding, the owner refused based on religious grounds. The gay couple should have respected the views of the bakery owner, and moved on to some other bakery that didn't care about their sexual orientation. If the bakery owner had expressed opposition to homosexuality but offered to make the cake anyway, the couple would have still likely taken their business elsewhere.

Bakeries that are gay-friendly can face the same dilemma. A Colorado youth minister said he was discriminated against when he requested two cakes that reflect his views. He went to the Azucar Bakery and requested two cakes in the shape of an open Bible. He asked that the first cake show on one page, "God hates sin-Psalm 45:7," and on the facing page, "Homosexuality is a detestable sin-Leviticus 18:22." He requested that the second cake have on one page, "God loves sinners," and on the facing page, "While we were yet sinners Christ died for us-Romans 5:8."

The drive for religious freedom legislation is largely the result of opportunity-seeking gays being able to win state court decisions based on individual grievousness. A professional photography studio in New Mexico that refused to photograph a gay couple's wedding was forced out of business when it lost a resulting lawsuit. The state's Supreme Court said only the government was allowed to discriminate in the name for religious freedom.

In a free society, everyone should have the right to associate with other people who share similar beliefs. If someone opened a satanic cafe called "Hail Satan," I certainly would not eat there. If they only wanted to serve non-Christians, they should have that right. No sane believer would go there to demand service.

The one reason why Christians keep losing ground in this country is because we constantly allow ourselves to be pushed around by groups representing minority views. Christians are the largest demographic group in the country, and yet we struggle to have influence over the basic rules of morality.

The entire concept of gay marriage is a joke. The vast majority of homosexuals are not interested in any lasting relationships. Studies show that most married gays have sex outside their relationships (with the knowledge and approval of their partners). The media even tries to keep the gay divorce rate a big secret. Elton John is the only queer celebrity that I can recall who is still "married." (So the divorce numbers must be pretty dire.)

The liberal agenda behind religious freedom is not about tolerance and copasetic co-existence. Their biased self-righteous intolerance will never be satisfied until all segments of society endorse their reprobate mindset.

"And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them" (Romans 1:28).

--Todd


Good advice for Israel--sort of...

We remember how Vice President Dan Quayle was raked over the coals by mainstream media types who delighted in going on incessantly about each and every verbal gaffe he made. Actually, Quayle was an attractive young man who spoke well and was quite accomplished in life, serving, of course, as senator from Indiana before joining the first Bush-Quayle campaign.

But, he is forever stigmatized as the guy who couldn't spell potato. For that and other insignificant verbal stumbles, he was assaulted in the press and through entertainment shows day after day.

The same thing was done earlier to Gerald Ford, who was Richard Nixon's vice president, then president when Nixon resigned. The mainstream news and entertainment venues made fun of Ford at every opportunity--like when he tripped exiting an airplane and was caught by a Secret Service agent or someone. Another time, he hit a golf ball off the tee and it went awry and hit someone among the onlookers.

Chevy Chase of Saturday Night Live launched his comedy career mimicking Ford and his supposed clumsiness during those years. In actuality, Ford was, in his younger years, a superb athlete, starring at the University of Michigan in football.

Now we have a vice president who makes gaffes that make Quayle look like Shakespeare and Ford look like Mikhail Baryshnikov, the Russian ballet star. But, the media hounds, because Joseph Biden is of the same untouchable political ideology as they, say nothing more than, "Well...that's just Joe..." It's much like they see him as an eccentric, old uncle who amuses them, but nothing about which to get political.

Mr. Biden weighed in on the nation of Israel, and his advice to Jews and their place in the world is...well...classic Old Joe...

Vice President Joe Biden told a gathering of prominent American Jewish officials last fall that they should look to Israel - and not the United States - as the ultimate guarantor of their community's long-term safety.

The surprising remarks, which were made during a Rosh Hashana celebration attended by government officials and members of Congress, were reported by Atlantic journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in a recent article about the future of European Jewry.

"I had the great pleasure of knowing every prime minister since Golda Meir, when I was a young man in the Senate, and I'll never forget talking to her in her office with her assistant - a guy named Rabin - about the Six-Day War," he said. "The end of the meeting, we get up and walk out, the doors are open, and ... the press is taking photos ... She looked straight ahead and said, 'Senator, don't look so sad ... Don't worry. We Jews have a secret weapon.'"

Then Biden recalled asking Meir what the secret weapon was.

"I thought she was going to tell me something about a nuclear program," Biden said. "She looked straight ahead and she said, 'We have no place else to go. We have no place else to go.' "

"Folks, there is no place else to go, and you understand that in your bones. You understand in your bones that no matter how hospitable, no matter how consequential, no matter how engaged, no matter how deeply involved you are in the United States ... there's only one guarantee. There is really only one absolute guarantee, and that's the state of Israel. And so I just want to assure you, for all the talk, and I know sometimes [President Barack Obama] gets beat up a little bit, but I guarantee you: he shares the exact same commitment to the security of Israel." ("Biden Told US Jews that Israel - Not America - Guaranteed Their Security," Jerusalem Post, By JPOST.COM STAFF, March 30, 2015)

If a politician--or anyone else of notoriety from another ideological mindset--had said something about, for example, African-Americans and their ties to the continent of Africa, hinting that they should just go back there, I'll just leave it to the imagination what would happen to that person.

But, it was Joe Biden who said it, talking about the pariah state, Israel, so there's nothing to see, here.

Biden knows Barack Obama's feelings about Israel. The president's attitude has been made transparently clear to all of us, as his administration's hash tag would have it. He is obviously determined to completely change American policy toward the Jewish state. Biden was being disingenuous in part of his remarks when he advised those Jews at the gathering on Rosh Hashana that they should think about going to Israel--one supposes, in order to avoid some sort of coming trouble. His disingenuousness, however, did not include his advice that Jews think about leaving.

We remember the late journalist, Helen Thomas, who, in a moment of senility, said the Jews should "get the he** back to the nations they came from." This is a mindset that pervades media and many within this administration. They, unlike old Joe and Ms. Thomas, just haven't come to the point they can no longer govern verbalization of their dislike for Israel.

Actually, the advice to think on going to Israel to those of the House of Israel is prophetic in its import. There is coming a time when hatred for the Jews of the world will be greater than any previous time in history. Read Jeremiah 30: 7, for example.

Jesus, Himself, said it would be a time worse than any that has ever been, or would be again. He was speaking primarily of the time of Tribulation as it would be for Israel. Read Matthew 24: 21.

We see that hatred building today across America and the world.

On Monday, the Anti-Defamation League released its annual Audit of Anti-Semitic Incidents showing a slight increase in 2014 over the previous year in Florida and a huge jump nationwide.

Middle East tensions may have exacerbated anti-Semitism, said Hava L. Holzhauer, Anti-Defamation League's Florida regional director...

In September, a banner outside of Miami Beach's oldest Conservative temple, Temple Emanu-el, was vandalized with swastikas. "The message is clear. It's a message of hate and intolerance," said Temple Emanu-el Rabbi Marc Philippe at the time. "And whenever you have intolerance, you have problems."

The advice Old Joe Biden gave totally misses the mark, as any well-grounded Bible prophecy student will understand. Israel--as all of mankind--should not put our reliance for safety in security provided by the nations of the world. God is our only place of safety and refuge.

"Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep" (Psalm 121:4).

--Terry