Prayer Targets: Thanksgiving; Atlanta Mayor; Hobby Lobby; Feds: Schools Bend for Transgenders; More
December 03, 2014
Senior Fellow Bob Morrison is FRC’s resident historian. With a B.A. and M.A. from U. VA in government and foreign affairs, additional studies at Hofstra and U. WA, Bob taught high school and college history and political science. In 1984, he joined the U.S. Department of Education and served with Gary Bauer under William Bennett. Later he became the first full-time rep in D.C. for the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod). Since 1991, Bob has held key posts at FRC, including Vice President for Policy. Thanksgiving Day is over, but God calls for ceaseless prayer with thanksgiving! Read Bob’s message and consider: in 3 weeks, men, women and children around the world will give “thanks unto God for His unspeakable gift.” May we do so always!
This year, especially, we give thanks for free government. We are thankful for our Constitution, the oldest in the world. We thank God for the system of checks and balances ingeniously embedded by the Founding Fathers in our Constitution as a safeguard for our liberty. We also thank God for regularly scheduled elections and the promise they give of pulling our nation back from the brink.
In this Year of Our Lord, 2014, we are thankful for our fellow citizens who made the effort to register their deepest concerns and who voted their values on November 4th. These citizens shared our alarm at the dizzying pace of change -- change that has brought not hope but the threat of a government untethered, unlimited, and unresponsive. Government is not persuasion; as we have been warned, it is force. Like fire, it must be carefully tended and scrupulously applied.
In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Americans listened attentively to Election Sermons delivered by biblically inspired pastors and priests. These sermons were dedicated to awakening in free people a lively sense of their responsibility to the Lord for the exercise of their franchise. Voting was common in colonial New England and in other colonies. We Americans were a self-governing peoplelong beforewe were what Washington called “a Sacred Union.”
Matt Spalding writes of Capt. Levi Preston, a Minuteman who fought the British at Concord Bridge in 1775. In his book,We Still Hold These Truths,Matt relates how an aged Levi Preston responded to a young interviewer decades after Independence and adoption of our Constitution.
Captain Preston: “What prompted you to risk your life that April day? Was it the oppressive Stamp Act?” “I never saw any stamps,” old Levi answered. “Was it the tax on tea?” “I never drank a drop of the stuff. The boys threw it all overboard.” “Was it your reading of Harrington, Sydney, and Locke on the principles of liberty?” “Never heard of `em,” Levi responded, “we read only the Bible, the catechism, Watt’sPsalms and Hymns,and theAlmanack.” “Then what was it?” Old Levi Preston looked his young questioner in the eye and answered: “Young man, we had always governed ourselves and we always meant to. The British didn’t mean we should.”
We need the Spirit of `75 today. We need to know what Americans in the past have done to give inspiration and guidance for the tasks before us… Perhaps our first Thanksgiving prayer should be for grateful hearts. We hope we have been rescued from a headlong rush toward despotism. Now that our Thanksgiving feast is over much remains to be done. But at least freedom has a chance. So let us continue to pray and sing as we consider the Lord’s gracious Provision: “Come, ye thankful people, come… God, our Maker, doth provide for our wants to be supplied…” (Morrison: Come Ye Thankful People, Come).
Atlanta Mayor Punishes Fire Chief for his Christian Faith – Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has joined the big-city autocrats who defy the Constitution and punish Christians who dare to express their First Amendment protected faith. Mayor Reed is making an example of Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran for his book, published last year, entitled, Who Told You That You Were Naked? The book deals with sin and redemption through Jesus Christ and addresses homosexual behavior among many sins enumerated in Scripture. Mayor Reed chose Facebook to publicly release his statement: “I profoundly disagree with and am deeply disturbed by the sentiments expressed in the paperback regarding the LGBT community. I will not tolerate discrimination of any kind within my administration…. We are conducting a thorough review of the facts surrounding the book and its distribution. In the interim, I have directed that the following steps be taken: Chief Cochran will be suspended for one month without pay; Chief Cochran will be required to complete sensitivity training; Chief Cochran will be prohibited from distributing the book on city property; and Deputy Chief Joel G. Baker will serve as Acting Fire Chief in Chief Cochran’s absence. I want to be clear that the material in Chief Cochran’s book is not representative of my personal beliefs, and is inconsistent with the Administration’s work to make Atlanta a more welcoming city for all of her citizens - regardless of their sexual orientation, gender, race and religious beliefs.” This is a preview of what would occur in places of employment nationwide if the pro-homosexual Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA) were to be enacted (see Chief Suspended; Facebook Statement; Fireman’s Reputation Torched).
May the pastors in Atlanta educate the mayor and may God grant him eyes to see! May a public apology be forthcoming. May righteousness be accomplished; and Chief Cochran’s pay and reputation be restored! May Atlanta-area pastors work together diligently to assure that religious liberty is respected and protected in Atlanta! (Gen 40:13; Dt 29:4; Jdg 20:11; Ps 133: all; Eze 12:2; Acts 20:18-32; 22:7-9; 2 Tim 4:2)
Amnesty by Executive Order – FRC Senior Vice-President, Rob Schwarzwalder articulated FRC’s objection, even before President Obama issued his executive order granting amnesty to more than 5 million illegal aliens now in the U.S. (actual number much larger). He wrote, “Family Research Council does not take a position on immigration reform… However, we take a strong position on the Constitution… We agree with the Founders that a written text contains objective meanings… The Constitution invests the President with the authority to enact policies to ensure the faithful execution of laws passed by Congress… Law and History Scholars have rightly noted that’Powers were separated not to make government more efficient but to restrain the natural bent of men, even presidents, to act as tyrants.’” Congress is now faced with a decision as to whether to use their constitutional power to prevent implementation of the President’s executive order by cutting funding. But Congress has just one week to pass a 2015 spending bill, or another Continuing Resolution (CR), to keep spending at current levels until the new Congress arrives. Some conservatives say “the voters gave us a mandate to stop this agenda!” Others fear the President could veto a short term CR he doesn’t like, and blame Republicans for a government shutdown! (see Schwarzwalder; Republicans in Congress; Political Analysis; Heritage Cost Analysis. Rector Video Clip; Impeachment?; Incremental Steps to Reform?).
Lord, the immigration issue, with Your help, is resolvable. But lawless disregard for the rule of law, by any high official cannot be minimized or overlooked. Give our Congressmen from both parties COURAGE to do their job, and to hold the President accountable to the Constitution, just as he swore on the Bible to do! (Dt 31:7-23; Neh 9:25-35; Eze 3:20; 33:6; Zech 8:17; Mt 7:20-23 ESV; Rom 3:19; 2 Th 2:7-11; Heb 11:34)
Finally: Please pray for: 1. The Green Family (of Hobby Lobby) is facing government hostility again. This time an Oklahoma school district has cancelled plans to use the long awaited Bible curriculum, specially crafted by Hobby Lobby president Steve Green for elective use in public schools. 2. The Department of Education has issued new guidelines under Title IX that requires single-sex public schools and classrooms to treat transgender students according to their chosen, not birth assigned, gender (the federal government will now be involved in promoting the transsexual agenda in all of America’s public schools). 3. Maine’s highest court has awarded a teenage boy and his attorneys $75,000, ruling that the transgender boy’s school must allow him to use the girls’ communal bathroom. 4. The Minnesota State High School League will vote tomorrow on whether transgender athletes may choose their team without regard to their gender. 5. Fayetteville residents will vote on Tuesday, December 9 whether to repeal an oppressive Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity Ordinance (Chapter 119 – See repeal119.com). 6. Something to be thankful for: according to the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) most recent reported abortion statistics (from 2011), the abortion rate in America has dropped to its lowest point since Roe v. Wade (1973), when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled abortion a woman’s constitutional right. Thank you for praying!