Posts Tagged ‘freedom’
By Victoria Arnold
President Putin has signed amendments imposing harsh restrictions on sharing beliefs, including where and who may share them, and increased “extremism” punishments, introduced with alleged “anti-terrorism” changes. There are widespread Russian protests against the suddenly-introduced changes, and may be a Constitutional Court challenge.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has signed into law legislation on so-called “missionary activity”, further restricting the public expression of freedom of religion and belief, including in the media and online, Forum 18 notes. The amendment – which has been rapidly introduced – caused widespread protests, but was signed on 6 July and the signing was made public at Moscow lunchtime on 7 July. It was published on the presidential website that day and comes into force on 20 July.
Lawyers working to protect the right to freedom of religion and belief are already preparing for an appeal to the Constitutional Court. At the same time, they are preparing advice to individuals and religious communities on how to abide by the terms of the Law. One Protestant leader, though, has warned that some of the restrictions “a good Christian cannot fulfil.”
Against international human rights obligations, the amendments to the Religion Law restrict those who can share beliefs to people with permission from members of state-registered religious groups and organisations. This excludes people from groups which have chosen to operate without state permission, such as certain Baptist congregations. The amendments also bar even informal sharing of beliefs, for example responding to questions or comments, by individuals acting on their own behalf.
The amendments also restrict the beliefs that can be shared, specifies a restricted list of places where beliefs may be shared, and explicitly bans any beliefs from being shared in residential buildings, or on another association’s property without permission. An allegedly “anti-terrorist” part of the amendments bars the conversion of residential property to religious use. Click here to continue reading.
Canadian Appeals Court Rules Law School Can Be Denied Accreditation Due to Biblical Marriage Beliefs
LTRP Note: After you read this article about the dilemma in which Canada’s Trinity Western University finds itself, you can read about the history of Trinity Western University’s fight to have a law school in Canada and yet still maintain that marriage is between a man and a woman here. Also worth noting, TWU is listed as a contemplative/emerging Christian college on the Lighthouse Trails college list. While they say they are trying to maintain biblical integrity regarding marriage, they fail to understand that by directing students toward the contemplative, emerging, progressive lifestyle, they are ultimately leading them away from biblical integrity. Not only that, but the contemplative camp has traditionally been lenient toward the homosexual lifestyle, and that leniency, as we are seeing in America, leads to an acceptance of same-sex marriage. TWU has one foot in one camp and the other foot in another, and it will never work. It is a house divided against itself.
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
HALIFAX, Nova Scotia — A Canadian appeals court has ruled that a Christian law school can be denied accreditation due to its biblical beliefs about the institution of marriage.
As previously reported, Trinity Western University had filed suit in October 2014 after the Nova Scotia Barrister’s Society (NSBS) refused to recognize graduates as being attorneys until the Christian institution changed its policy on sexuality.
“According to the Bible, sexual intimacy is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman, and within that marriage bond it is God’s intention that it be enjoyed as a means for marital intimacy and procreation,” the university policy reads. Click here to continue reading.
By Washington Post
On campuses across America, the Thought Police have a new tool: Bias Response Teams, administrators who crack down on classroom insensitivity.
More than 100 US colleges have set up BRTs. The newshounds at Heat Street last week dug up a taste of how it works.
A professor at the University of Northern Colorado got visited by the school’s Bias Response Team — for imploring his students to think about opposing viewpoints.
Heat Street’s Freedom of Information Act request revealed that the professor 1) had students read an Atlantic article about rising sensitivity of college students, and 2) asked them to consider un-PC [politically correct) views on topics like global warming and transgender issues. Click here to continue reading.
By Bob Unruh
An Oregon state official and his agency violated the U.S. Constitution in multiple ways when they assessed a $135,000 penalty against Sweetcakes by Melissa bakery owners Aaron and Melissa Klein for refusing to violate their Christian faith by creating a wedding cake for a lesbian duo, according to a new appeal filed in the long-running case.
“In America, you’re protected by the Constitution, and you’re also innocent until proven guilty,” said Kelly Shackelford, president of First Liberty Institute, which is working on the Kleins’ case.
“Commissioner Brad Avakian decided the Kleins were guilty before he even heard their case. This is an egregious violation of the Kleins’ rights to due process. We hope the Oregon Court of Appeals will remedy this by reversing or dismissing the government’s case against the Kleins.” Click here to read more.
When Hitler Was in Power – Memories of a Jewish Girl
by Anita Dittman
(From the booklet with the same name)
1939 Breslau, Germany
I was twelve years old and entering early teen years living in Nazi Germany. Often as the lights went out at night, I lapsed into self-pity and cried myself to sleep. I knew it would be a long winter with minimum food rations, crowded, substandard living quarters, and that never-ending dread of the Gestapo knock on the door. More and more Jews feared venturing into the streets.
Rising costs for tuition and school books and the increased anti-Semitism made my school life miserable and my future education questionable. In addition, home conditions were difficult. Two of Mother’s sisters had come to live with us in our one room, and we had to share the kitchen and bath with additional families.
Mother’s sisters—Aunt Friede and Aunt Elsbeth—were endlessly annoyed at my strong faith in Jesus and Mother’s growing interest in Him. Their nagging, coupled with the unbearable bedbugs in our apartment, made life a chore. I gave Aunt Elsbeth my bed and slept on a lumpy, bedbug-infested sofa, falling asleep each night while arguments rang through the room.
We hardly dared go to Pastor Hornig’s church. The macabre scenes we saw on the way caused bad dreams at night as our subconscious relived what we had seen: Jews by the hundreds being herded into trucks as they stared glassy-eyed with fear at being separated from loved ones. Since we were in a Jewish ghetto, we could look out our window almost any day and see such scenes on the street below. The more we were identified as Jewish Christians attending a Protestant church, the more free time we were given.
By fall, the war began in earnest. Germany surged ahead, optimistic because of her swift victory in Poland. The frighteningly diabolical trio of Adolf Eichmann, Reinhard Heydrich, and Heinrich Himmler was ordered to find a “final solution to the Jewish problem,” and it was generally understood that the final solution meant total extermination.
Auschwitz and Dachau, two of the more deadly camps, would strike similar terror within the Jews of Europe. Rudolf Ross was put in charge of the genocide at Auschwitz. Upon his orders, two thousand Jews would be gassed at one time. As men, women, and children were shoved together into massive “shower rooms” some were stamped on their chests with a coded number that indicated they had gold teeth. When they finally realized they weren’t taking a shower, they screamed and cried for mercy, but their cries fell on deaf ears. Amused guards watched through peepholes as they suffered and died. Hideous horror stories began to trickle out of the various camps, putting unbearable pressure on European Jews, who knew that they were all potential gas-chamber victims.
In 1939, Germans began experiencing a fear of their own as the country scurried for air-raid shelters. Bombs weren’t falling on Germany yet, but drills had begun. Homes and businesses complied with blackout regulations, and planes frequently raced across the German sky that fall, though without dropping any deadly weapons.
1940—Berlin, Germany—Away From Home
By the summer of 1940, the Führer had made himself the master of western Europe as he invaded Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and France. They all would fall before the year’s end. It began to look as though Italy would enter the war as an ally of Germany. But as long as England remained undefeated in the war, a complete German victory was not possible in the West. British resistance stiffened that spring and summer under the incomparable leadership of Winston Churchill. Britain was sending her planes in increasing numbers over the skies of Germany. As the Germans attacked Allied cities and sunk Allied ships, Britain began to retaliate by dropping bombs, and Germany started melting beneath her burning cities.
That August we heard terrifying news: The Germans had bombed a residential section of London, and word got out that the British Royal Air Force would retaliate by hitting Berlin (where I was attending school). Thus, the war was brought home to Germany, and Berlin’s air-raid shelters became my home away from home. If life for the German people had once been an inconvenience, it now was a hellish nightmare. The siege began in Berlin, but soon the whole country would be in rubble.
When the bombing began, we children thought of the nightly air raids as nothing more than dangerous thunderstorms, during which everyone scrambled for the shelters—only basements really. At first the British hit only government centers in Berlin. Sometimes, however, the shrill sirens interrupted our light sleep as often as three times a night. And each time we would dash frantically to the shelter beneath our apartment building.
As the war got worse, so did general living conditions. Yet no true German dared to let defeat or discouragement cross his mind. It was still unthinkable. What about the thousand-year Reich? Hitler surely had things under control; this was only a temporary inconvenience. It was a small price to pay for the Fatherland and the glorious days that lay ahead for the Reich.
The air attack intensified in the fall of 1940 as Berlin received the brunt of the Allied bombing. The basement bomb shelters were almost useless against a direct hit, for a shell would race through ten stories to the basement, burying hundreds of victims. As Hitler intensified the fighting on the battlefront, the Allies intensified their reign of terror from the sky.
Life in the shelters was nerve-racking. We couldn’t move for fear of using too much oxygen. Even if bombs exploded all around us, we were careful not to utter an anti-Nazi statement because several staunch Nazis were sure to be in any given bomb shelter.
As the winter winds began to blow, I missed Mother and the familiarities of home even more. Christmas was in the air, and though Mrs. Michaelis assured me she would send me home for the holiday, I knew that at a moment’s whim she could change her mind. Then early in December, my school principal handed me a note: “Because of your non-Aryan background, you will no longer be allowed to attend classes at this school.”
Early 1941—Home Again in Breslau
Brown-shirted storm troopers were marching through the towns, terrorizing everyone and delighting in making life miserable for the Jews, whether by teasing and taunting or by acts of brutality. They ridiculed and beat Jews everywhere and randomly hauled off individuals or families to prison. Cattle cars were filled daily as trainloads of frightened Jews were shipped to secret destinations throughout the tranquil German countryside.
As I walked to the gymnasium of the school I was attending now, I saw bold signs proclaiming “No Jews Allowed” on nearly every store. Other signs warned Germans to stay away from Jews, who had been banned from theaters, parks, and all recreational areas. Everywhere I looked, I saw anti-Jewish slogans and posters. Many of the posters had the photograph of a Jew who had just been arrested for some concocted crime. In sharp contrast, flashing neon signs illuminated Hitler’s picture.
The Nazi flag was hung proudly outside of most homes in Breslau. Inside, Germans were required to have a picture of the Führer somewhere in the house. Hitler was pressing the Christian pastors to have his picture placed at the front of church altars.
Hitler’s contorted and strained voice blasted hate propaganda from the radio almost daily; he frantically blamed “international financial Jewry” for the war and warned Germans that every living Jew was an archenemy of the Reich. Jews had absolutely no rights and weren’t entitled to own property.
More and more Jews trembled behind locked doors. We learned that a brother and a sister of Mother’s had been picked up and taken to a camp. Another brother and his wife took their own lives rather than face a concentration camp ordeal. It was inevitable that the random confiscation of Jews should hit our house that winter.
Mother tried to be a peacemaker for her three quarreling sisters. However, when she attempted to help them, they would gang up on her because of her growing love for Jesus, who Pastor Hornig had told her was the Jewish Messiah. Mother could no longer deny the power of Christ in our lives. She had to talk about Him; it was a natural overflow of love. But her sisters insisted that it was Jesus’ followers who had hounded the Jews since the first century. They claimed the Nazis were all Christians on the basis of them being Gentiles and having attended Catholic or Lutheran churches. Many of those very churches had now sold out to the Führer, allowing his picture to be on their church altars. It made no sense to my aunts to worship Jesus, a phony dead man in whose name millions of Jews had been persecuted, tortured, and killed.
“But those people aren’t really Christians!” I insisted, not fully grasping the accuracy of my statement. “They just give real Christians a bad name.”
“Nonsense!” insisted Aunt Elsbeth. “All Gentiles are Christians.”
That month Bulgaria was peacefully occupied. Then Germany invaded Yugoslavia, and soon tanks would roll into Athens. Hitler gave an injunction demanding merciless harshness in the war. Whereas at one time the German code of ethics had protected civilians and property, now everyone and everything was to be destroyed by the German soldiers. But every such act of brutality only increased the Allied assault on Germany, so in the end every German paid for the Führer’s madness.
All internal affairs were being handed over to Martin Bormann, who began to carry out a ruthless assault on the Christian churches in Germany. More than ever we feared for the Hornigs and the believers at our church, for they would be prime targets for Bormann’s men because of their interest and love for the Jewish people. Gestapo agents always were planted in the church services now.
The fresh breezes of spring 1941 brought us little relief from our agony. I gave serious thought to dropping out of school because of the rampant anti-Semitism at the gymnasium. My teachers followed Nazi orders to be hard on all students who weren’t Aryans, and the other young people didn’t want to risk being my friend. I felt terribly lonely there—for a fourteen-year-old without a friend is like a violin without a bow.
One by one the apartments in our Jewish tenement were emptying as the arrests increased. In June, we heard the dreaded knock again. This time they came for Aunt Friede, who was seventy-three years old. We tried very hard to swallow our tears again, for we knew it would only upset Aunt Friede more to see us crying over her. Again, no explanation was given and no destination revealed.
A great part of the terrifying fear related to the arrests was the unknown factor of the prisoner’s destination. Was it jail or a concentration camp? Was it a work camp or a gas chamber or a firing squad? One seldom knew until sometimes family members received a postcard from prison or perhaps word was smuggled out that the person had been killed. The fate of millions would never be known. They would simply become statistics.
One by one or all at once, families disappeared and were separated in the ordeal of Nazi Germany in 1941. We never saw Aunt Käte, Aunt Friede, or Aunt Elsbeth again.
Hitler’s hunger for power and blood had no end. Next he invaded Russia in an effort to eliminate the “Eastern menace” of Bolshevism. The Führer didn’t realize, of course, that this was a fatal miscalculation. A world war was now inevitable. America pledged economic aid, and the Allies started fighting back even harder.
Hitler was sure the Russian campaign would be swift, a fair weather war. Thus the Russian winter became as much his enemy as the Russian soldier. More than 750,000 German soldiers would die from the winter elements as they became bogged down in their advance on Moscow. Because of the devastating defeat, the Jews would suffer even more and be made to pay for Hitler’s mistake.
Only one synagogue was left in Breslau after the burnings of 1938 and 1939. Recently it had been made into a prison for Jews who were waiting for processing before being sent off to the camps.
After school one day, I made my way to the crumbling synagogue. During the long walk in the December cold, I considered the paradox of Nazi Germany. As Christmas approached, Germans celebrated the birth of Jesus; yet they worshiped the godless Nazis. The peace, joy, love, and hope that are synonymous with Christmas were strangely muted in Hitler’s Germany, but few gave up the futile dream of the marvelous thousand-year Reich. Few were ready to allow the idea of defeat to enter their minds, even though smoke from burning Berlin rose five miles high in the sky and uncounted thousands of German soldiers were dying on the Russian battlefront. Routinely the Russians announced the names of their captured German prisoners over the airwaves of underground radio stations. The prisoners’ relatives knew they would never see their husbands or brothers again when they heard their names; the camps in Siberia never sent anyone home.
Hitler’s attention was focused mainly on the Russian front in the spring of 1942, though the Africa corps drove further and further east toward the British-held Middle East. The Americans joined England’s Royal Air Force in dropping bombs on German cities. In the coming weeks and months, Cologne, Rostock, Lubeck, and Berlin would become piles of rubble. But, thankfully, the planes still avoided Breslau.
That spring brought both the bitter and the sweet. Our good friends the Sandbergs were finally taken away. We sorrowed as we remembered the longing of their hearts to be reunited with their sons, who had fled to England before the war.
That May I turned fifteen, and I finished my confirmation classes with Pastor Hornig. Mother scraped a few cents together to make me a lovely white dress. Pastor Hornig tested me in front of the entire congregation at St. Barbara’s; it was one of the highlights of my life. I was thrilled to be able to please Pastor Hornig and Mother as I gave all the right answers in my test. Mother looked at me proudly from the audience. My eyes flashed between Pastor Hornig and Mother as I drank in their looks of approval and praise. This was the best gift I could give them.
My eyes also saw an unfamiliar face in the congregation. We learned later that it was another Nazi spy. It was no secret to anyone in Breslau that Pastor Hornig aided Jews—both believers and unbelievers. Gestapo agents followed him frequently and planted themselves in the church services in order to monitor any anti-Nazi statements.
Shortly after this, I was handed another familiar note in school, telling me not to return to classes because of my Jewish heritage.
About the same time that spring, Reinhard Heydrich died. He was one-third of the Eichmann-Himmler-Heydrich trio—the masterminds behind the Jewish persecution. The blood of thousands—perhaps millions of Jews was on his hands.
To this day, the Nazi Holocaust continues to prevent many Jewish people from believing in God. Satan uses it as the biggest stumbling block for the numerous Jews who can’t accept that a loving, all-powerful God would allow such a horrible thing to happen. Granted, millions perished, yet God also allowed millions to survive.
The Reich suffered a terrible defeat at Stalingrad as the Russians captured 220,000 German prisoners in February 1943. Solemn music was played for three days on the radio as all Germans mourned the loss. At last, Germany was experiencing the type of pain she had been inflicting on others.
We had heard that defeat was also occurring in North Africa, and the air war against Germany was merciless now. A layer of smoke blanketed the land as Hamburg and other cities were being hit day and night. A concentrated Allied attack on German U-boats caused the Germans to lose the battle in the Atlantic.
Finally, the Allies demanded the unconditional surrender of the Reich, but for Hitler that was unthinkable. Instead, he declared that an attitude of defeatism would be punishable by death, and the empty propaganda that promised a glorious day for Germany continued to be screamed over the airwaves.
How much longer would the German people believe in the illusion of the glorious Fatherland? How much longer would they follow the mad pied-piper and trust him with their sons, fathers, and husbands, many of whom would never leave the Siberian prisoner-of-war camps? How much longer would they be blindly obedient to the Führer, who admittedly had no compassionate thought for a human life? He even willingly sacrificed his own German people if they weren’t perfect specimens of the Aryan race. When would the prayers of Christians around the world hasten the demise of the German demagogue and strangle Satan’s attempt to bring only sorrow and sighing into the world? How much longer, God? We knew that one swift blow of God’s judgment could end the despair, and we believed that real Christians around the world surely had calluses on their knees from praying for the nightmare to end.
As winter turned into the spring of 1943, we heard that the Allies had won the war in Africa, which gave Mother and me a surge of hope. But true to the pattern, as the Reich suffered, our supervisor became more strict and rigid, allowing hardly any conversation during our long workday. Only hungry rats scurrying along the beams above us broke the monotony.
Rumors began to fly about some of the Reich’s concentration camps being liberated in the coming year. The camps now held millions of Jews from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans.
However, our dreams were suddenly shattered one balmy spring day when we heard about the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Five-hundred-thousand Jews had been herded into the ghetto to starve to death. Finally the Germans went in to kill them or crowd them into death camps; however, the starving but determined Jews fought back with everything they had. Then Hitler sent in three thousand more troops to quickly take over the ghetto with tanks, armored cars, artillery, and flame-throwers. Only five-hundred Jews lived to tell of the annihilation of the ghetto and its people.
That week we could hardly speak to one another without choking back tears of grief and anger; even within the purest heart, bitterness raged toward the Nazis. Our faith was shaken and our hope dimmed. The atheists among us cursed, while the Jewish unbelievers withdrew into themselves. The religious Jews prayed harder and asked why. We Christians comforted one another and realized that some answers would be available only in heaven.
The Allies landed in Normandy. Rumor had it that everyone who had even one Jewish grandparent was now going to be picked up in a last-ditch effort to wipe out the Jewish race. Hitler would make the Jews pay, of course, for his mistakes in the war, a pattern that was never broken.
The stories from the camps told of massive gassings and shootings. Following a gassing, the bodies would be cremated in giant ovens. Giant smokestacks coughed out soot from burning bodies, blanketing most of Europe. Fellow prisoners, or in some cases family members, would then be ordered to break up the remaining bones and bury them in mass graves.
The worst horrors took place in Auschwitz, from which few ever escaped or lived to tell their stories. It was estimated that almost three million already had perished there, and at the end of the war it would be learned that eighty percent of those sent to Auschwitz died.
The most gruesome story leaked out early in 1944 and would later be documented. Hitler informed Himmler that it was not enough for the Jews to die; they must die in agony, for they were only germs, not people. Himmler was ordered to devise a plan to make thousands of Jews die a horrible death. He got the idea of placing Jewish prisoners in freight cars having their floors coated with a layer of dehydrated calcium oxide. The substance caused terrible burns, and prisoners often suffered for days before dying an awful death in the freight cars, which were left in a secluded place.
Hitler had only to whisper and ten thousand prisoners would die that day.
The human mind and body could not logically withstand such pressures and uncertainties, especially if a person had a loved one in a camp or if he himself was on the Nazi blacklist. Added to the other horrors was the constant threat that a death-camp experience awaited him after a harsh midnight knock on his door. The Nazi blacklist included more than just Jews. Christians who were suspected of hiding or aiding Jews were on it, as well as anyone who uttered an anti-Nazi sentiment. A time would come for all of us to be hauled off to death camps unless the Allies—with God’s help—could rescue us.
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I was the first Christian in my family. Around 1982, Mom and Dad (who were in their mid-sixties) began reading the Bible. They became so excited they eagerly devoured it. Dad would come running into the room saying, “Look at this!” and share a Scripture passage that really hit him.
As my parents shared their new-found enthusiasm for the Bible, their love bloomed. They enjoyed Prairie Home Companion, and when old timey music came on the radio, Dad would grab Mom and dance with her. He was always bringing her flowers from their garden.
They found a good church where the preaching was biblical. Dad’s enthusiasm for Scripture kept growing, and he got a master’s degree in Biblical Studies. For the rest of their lives, Mom and Dad read a lot of Scripture every day and often talked about it during meal time.
Sadly, times have changed. If Mom and Dad had discovered the Bible in 2014, they would probably have had difficulty finding a church with biblical preaching. And the last time I listened to Prairie Home Companion, the humor had become raunchy.
People on TV now boast about doing things you could have blackmailed them for thirty years ago. Previously “unthinkable” things are becoming commonplace.
This didn’t just happen by chance. I’m going to give you some disturbing information, accompanied by this biblical reminder. Jesus told us to love our enemies and to pray for them (Matthew 5:44). We should also do reasonable things to protect ourselves and to try to thwart their anti-Christian agenda, because Jesus told us to flee persecution when we can (Matthew 10:23). But that only applies if we can do it without denying our Lord (Matthew 10:32-33).
Humanism is the mortal enemy of Christianity. It denies the existence of God and opposes biblical morality.
Humanism says that man is basically good, but the Bible says we are all sinners who need a Savior. We need to have God change our hearts. We need to become children of God.
Dr. Brock Chisholm is a psychiatrist. He was the first Secretary-General of the United Nations’ World Health Organization. He demonstrated humanism’s antipathy to the idea that men need a Savior when he said:
For many generations we have bowed our necks to the yoke of the conviction of sin. We have swallowed all manner of poisonous certainties fed us by our parents.1
If the race is to be freed from its crippling burden of good and evil, it must be psychiatrists who take the original responsibility.2
Evidently, for Dr. Chisholm, “mental health” means being unable to become convicted of sin, and it also means being unable to recognize the difference between good and evil. According to American law, the inability to tell the difference between good and evil is the definition of “criminal insanity.”
Dr. Chisholm made these statements in 1946. Therefore, the United Nations has had many years to try to change every country in ways that make it more difficult for its citizens to recognize the difference between good and evil. That could explain a lot of the crazy things we see going on in the world today.
In America, humanism has been declared by the courts to be a tax-exempt religion.3 This religion is openly hostile to Christianity. Its antagonism can be seen in the following quotations from humanists:
The classroom must and will become the arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity . . . and the new faith of humanism.4
Some opponents of Humanism have accused us of wishing to overthrow the traditional Christian family. They are right. That is exactly what we intend to do.5
In 1933, The Humanist Manifesto was written, stating the beliefs and goals of humanism.6 One of the signers was John Dewey, who is called the “father of progressive education.” He revolutionized education in America. Dewey was determined to use the school system to promote humanism.7 Unfortunately, he succeeded.
For generations, American children have been taught humanist beliefs and values in public schools. Their Christian morals have been undermined by “values clarification” and other techniques.8 Thomas Sowell said:
The techniques of brainwashing developed in totalitarian countries are routinely used in psychological conditioning programs imposed on American school children.9
This results in radically changing the beliefs and moral values of the children. The brainwashing techniques result in “acceptance of alternative values by psychological rather than rational means.”10
In addition, there are people who call themselves atheists, but they hate God. (How can they hate somebody who doesn’t exist? At some level, they must know God is real.)
Look at the following quotation from 1977. The militant atheists have been working on this agenda for a long time now:
We must ask how we can kill the God of Christianity. We need only to insure that our schools teach only secular knowledge.11
With such overt hostility to Christianity from humanists and atheists, who use the public schools to promote their agenda, it is not surprising that America has gone downhill spiritually and morally. For example, when I was in high school (1958-1961), there were only a few girls who were not virgins, and everybody knew who they were. They had “a reputation.” Fast-forward forty years to the year 2000 when my nephew got married. He and his wife were both virgins, and that was so unusual that people made a big deal out of it.
To see the extent of the change that has taken place in the United States, look at Yale University. It was founded by ministers in 1701 in order to spread Christianity. All students were required to “live religious, godly, and blameless lives according to the rules of God’s Word.” They were told to spend time in prayer and reading Scripture, both publicly and in private. The stated goal of their studies was “to know God in Jesus Christ” and “to lead a godly, sober life.”12
And what is Yale like today in modern America? In March 2013, students at Yale University attended a four-day workshop called “Sex Weekend.” This event was led by a “sexologist,” who gave the students “sensitivity training” in “sexual diversity.” The students were taught to accept homosexuality, sadomasochism, bestiality (sex with animals), incest, and prostitution. Over half of Yale’s students said they had engaged in “consensual pain” (sadomasochism), and three percent said they had sex with an animal.13
With humanists using the schools to try to undermine Christianity, it is not surprising that many people who were raised in Christian families do not share the faith of their parents and grandparents. According to one study, the majority of today’s young adults were involved in church and other Christian activities as teenagers. However, when they grew older, most of them became “spiritually disengaged.” Among young adults who had a Christian background, only one out of five “maintained a level of spiritual activity consistent with their high school experiences.”
This study also showed that three out of four American teenagers have engaged in “psychic or witchcraft-related activity.” (This does not include reading horoscopes and exposure to occult media.) One out of ten participated in a seance, and one out of twelve tried to cast a spell or mix a magic potion. More than a third used a Ouija board, and more than a third read a book about Wicca (a religion based on witchcraft and goddess worship).14 Occultism is becoming mainstream.
Things have now gotten to the point that there is a movement to normalize pedophilia. Instead of wanting to protect children from sexual predators, some psychologists and academics want to protect the sexual rights of pedophiles, which they have rebranded as being “minor-attracted persons” who have a sexual orientation that should be respected.15
As a result of America’s moral and spiritual free fall, we now see blatant hostility towards Christianity. For example, in 2001, a man in my church was sent to prison. Some of us visited him and asked if we could give him a magazine. The prison officials told us we could do that, as long as it came directly from the publisher and the magazine was “appropriate.” I asked them what “appropriate” meant and was told that pornography and violent material were not allowed.
We subscribed to a Christian magazine to be sent to him directly by the publisher. The prison refused that magazine and sent it back. Evidently, somebody at that prison considered Christian writings to be “inappropriate.” They treated it the same way they treat pornography, by refusing to let him have it.
I talked about this with a friend from church whose son was in prison. She told me her son was not allowed to have a Bible. His prison was full of Muslim literature and Wiccan writings, but Bibles were not allowed.
Some persecution takes the form of pressuring people to do things contrary to their religious convictions. For example, a Catholic nurse was forced to assist in performing an abortion. If she refused, she would be fired. She complied, but regrets it and is now suing the hospital. This is part of a larger problem. The ACLU is trying to force Catholic hospitals to perform abortions.16
Sixty-three businesses have lawsuits about provisions in ObamaCare that would force them to go against their religious convictions. One attorney said:
The United States government is taking the remarkable position that private individuals lose their religious freedom when they make a living.17
Jack Phillips is a Christian baker from Denver, Colorado. He politely refused to bake a wedding cake for a homosexual couple, saying he would be happy to bake things for them “for any other occasion.” There were demonstrations outside his shop, and he received so many death threats he called the police. Then the couple charged him with discrimination. The judge ruled that if he refuses to make wedding cakes for homosexual marriages, he will be fined, and he might be sent to prison. The baker said he would rather go to jail than violate his religious beliefs.18
Elaine and Jonathan Huguenin are Christians and the owners of Elane Photography. In 2006, they turned down a request to do wedding photos for a same-sex marriage. This case went all the way to the New Mexico Supreme Court, which ruled against them. One of the judges said the Huegenins are “compelled by law to compromise the very religious beliefs that inspire their lives.” Their attorney said:
If Elane Photographer does not have her rights of conscience protected, then basically nobody does. Americans are now on notice that the price of doing business is their freedom.19
If such things can be done to bakers and photographers and florists, then what will happen to pastors and other religious clergy who refuse to marry homosexual couples? What will happen to freedom of religion?
Using the courts to try to force people to endorse homosexuality is done by militant homosexual activists. These radical activists want to force everybody else to actively support what they are doing.
In contrast, that baker had turned down requests for wedding cakes from a number of other homosexual couples who respected his right to see things differently than they do. They just quietly looked for another baker who would be happy to get their business.
When I was a freshman in college (1961-1962), I had a friend there named Jessica. She was bisexual. Back then, I had never heard that term before. I didn’t even know that such a thing existed before I became friends with her.
She was desperately looking for love and had become promiscuous. Men would use her and treat her like trash. When that became too painful, then Jessica would turn to women. But then she would get hurt by them and go back to men again. It was a cycle of pain, going back and forth between men and women and getting hurt by them all.
Jessica was a sweet, vulnerable girl, and her heart was broken by so many people. I wish I could have helped her back then, but I didn’t know how. If Jessica married a lesbian, she would never try to force a baker to make a wedding cake for her. She cared about other people, and respected them.
I’ve often thought about Jessica over the years and prayed for her. I hope she found the Lord.
During the 2014 U.S. government shutdown, the military chaplains were banned from performing any kind of services or ministry on military bases. They were not even allowed to minister as volunteers (which would not have cost the Pentagon a penny), and they were threatened with arrest if they did any ministry on base. Congressman Tim Huelskamp said:
Time and time again this Administration demonstrates it is waging a war against the very religious freedoms upon which America was founded.20
Obviously, this had nothing to do with saving money, because the chaplains offered to serve for free as volunteers. In addition, it costs money to arrest people and hold them in jail, and it is expensive to have lawyers prosecute them. So this was overt persecution of Christians. And it was done by our government to the men and women who risk life and limb in order to protect our nation and who also risk having post-traumatic stress, which is very difficult to live with.
The Pentagon has threatened to court martial soldiers who share their faith. This includes military chaplains.21
On March 21, 2014, the Family Research Council published a report titled A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military. It is 21 pages long and very thoroughly documented. You can get a free PDF file of it online.22
There have been some cases where American Christians have been murdered for their faith. On September 15, 1999, there was a rally at Wedgewood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas. A gunman entered the church and methodically shot Christians who were attending the service and then shot himself. Seven people died and others were critically wounded. The gunman was shouting, cursing Christianity, and cursing the Christians for believing it. The FBI found anti-Christian writings in his home.23
However, in spite of this evidence, when CBS and CNN reported the shooting, they were “unable to assign any motive to the shooter.”24 Why? Because it is not politically correct to portray Christians as being persecuted. The mainstream media avoids such stories or else covers them in ways that omit or deny the element of persecution.
I found out about that twenty years ago when I learned that Christians in Sudan were being slaughtered by Muslims. I contacted every newspaper I knew to tell them about it. None of them responded, with one exception. One reporter told me, “I wish I could write about it.” So evidently he wanted to cover the story but was not allowed to.
On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado shot and killed twelve of their classmates and a teacher, and wounded 23 other people. They also killed themselves. They asked three Christian girls if they believed in God and killed them when they said “Yes.” The girls were Cassie Bernall, Rachel Scott, and Valeen Schnurr. Rachel had shared her Christian faith with the boys several weeks earlier. (Some classmates overheard the conversation.) The boys made a video in which they cursed Jesus Christ and cursed Christians. They singled Rachel Scott out for an insulting tirade, mocking her by name.25
I read about the shootings in the newspaper, but those reports didn’t mention the element of persecuting Christian students. It took me years to find out about that, and I got the information from a story on a Christian website about Rachel Scott’s father. I never heard anything about it from the mainstream media. Did you?
And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light . . . But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest. (John 3:19-21)
(This is an excerpt from Maria Kneas’ book How to Prepare for Hard Times and Persecution)
1. G. Brock Chisholm, “The Re-Establishment of Peacetime Society” (Psychiatry, February 1946).
3. a. Arthur M. Jackson, “The Courts Define Humanism as a Religion.” This article was published in The Humanist Institute Quarterly, Winter 1987; also see: www.arthurmjackson.com/rootsf.html
4. “Secular Humanists Give Dunphy Another Platform” (Eagle Forum, www.eagleforum.org/educate/1995/nov95/dunphy.html, citing John Dunphy, “A Religion for a New Age,” The Humanist, January/February 1983).
5. Marriage and the Family, The British Humanist Association, 1969. Cited by Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy, The Globalists (Oklahoma City: Hearthstone Publishing, 2001), p. 124.
6. “Humanist Manifesto I” (This is the original Humanist Manifesto, written in 1933. Other versions have been written since then; http://americanhumanist.org/Humanism/Humanist_Manifesto_I).
7. Ian T. Taylor, In the Minds of Men (Toronto, ON: TFE Publishing, 1991, 3rd edition), p. 425.
8. Berit Kjos, Brave New Schools (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995, from chapter 3: “A New Way of Thinking; www.crossroad.to/Books/BraveNewSchools/3-NewThinking.htm).
9. Thomas Sowell, “Indoctrinating the Children” (Forbes, February 1, 1993), p. 65.
11. G. Richard Bozarth, “On Keeping God Alive” (American Atheist, November 1977).
12. Dan Graves, “Yale Founded to Fight Liberalism” (www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html; also see: www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/1701-1800/yale-founded-to-fight-liberalism-11630185.html).
13. Heather Clark, “Yale Students Receive Bestiality, Incest Sensitivity Training During ‘Sex Weekend” (Christian News Network, March 10, 2013, http://christiannews.net/2013/03/10/yale-students-receive-bestiality-incest-sensitivity-training-during-sex-weekend; also see: Lee Moran, “What the Yale? Ivy League Students Admit to Bestiality, Desires about Incest, During ‘Sex Weekend’ Workshop” (New York Daily News, March 6, 2013, www.nydailynews.com/news/national/yale-students-admit-beatiality-sex-workshop-article-1.1280746).
14. “Most Twentysomethings Put Christianity on the Shelf Following Spiritually Active Teen Years” (September 11, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/16-teensnext-gen/147-most-twentysomethings-put-christianity-on-the-shelf-following-spiritually-active-teen-years); also see: “New Research Explores Teenage Views and Behavior Regarding the Supernatural” (January 23, 2006. www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/164-new-research-explores-teenage-views-and-behavior-regarding-the-supernatural).
15. “Pedophilia the Next ‘Sexual-Rights’ Revolution? Academica, psychologists expanding LGBT argument to ‘minor-attracted persons’” (January 2, 2014. www.wnd.com/2014/01/pedophilia-the-next-sexual-rights-revolution).
16. Jose Martinez, “Nurse Sues Hospital Over Forced Abortion Assist” (New York Daily News, April 20, 2010, www.nydailynews.com/new-york/nurse-sues-hospital-forced-abortion-assist-article-1.448478); also see: Robert Knight, “Can the ACLU Force Catholic Hospitals to Perform Abortions?” December 5, 2013, www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/dec/5/knight-treating-the-mother-by-killing-the-baby);
17. Heather Clark, “Supreme Court Sets Date for Hobby Lobby’s Challenge to Obama’s HHS Mandate” (January 12, 2014, http://christiannews.net/2014/01/12/supreme-court-sets-date-to-hear-hobby-lobbys-challenge-to-obamacare-abortion-pill-mandate).
18. Bob Unruh, “State ‘Imposing’ Its ‘Gay’ Beliefs on Cake Artist,” January 7, 2014, www.wnd.com/2014/01/state-imposing-its-gay-beliefs-on-cake-artist); also see: Tony Perkins, “Judge to Colorado Baker: Bake Cakes For Gay ‘Weddings’ . . . Or Else” (December 10, 2013. www.lifesitenews.com/news/judge-to-colorado-baker-bake-a-cake-for-gay-weddings . . . or-else); also: “‘Tolerance’ Now Means Government-Coerced Celebration” (December 16, 2013, www.wnd.com/2013/12/tolerance-now-means-govt-coerced-celebration).
19. Todd Starnes, “NM Court Says Christian Photographers Must Compromise Beliefs’ (Fox News, August 22, 2013, http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/nm-court-says-christian-photographers-must-compromise-beliefs.html).
20. “Government Shutdown Results in Ban on Military Chaplains” (October 11, 2013, www.militarydefensefirm.com/Military-Criminal-Defense-Blog/2013/October/Government-Shutdown-Results-in-Ban-on-Military-C.aspx).
21. Ken Klukowski, “Pentagon May Court Martial Soldiers Who Share Christian Faith” (Breitbart, May 1, 2013, www.breitbart.com/Big-Peace/2013/05/01/Breaking-Pentagon-Confirms-Will-Court-Martial-Soldiers-Who-Share-Christian-Faith).
22. “A Clear and Present Danger: The Threat to Religious Liberty in the Military” (Family Research Council, March 21, 2014, http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF14C52.pdf ).
23. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted” (Media Research Center, www.mediaresearch.org/cyberalerts/1999/cyb19990917.asp).
24. “Fort Worth Shootings: Tragedy at an Unarmed Church” (http://reformed-theology.org/html/issue10/hate_crime.htm).
25. Brent Baker, “Shooter’s Anti-Christian Motive Missed & Noted, op. cit.; also see: “Do You Believe in God?” (WorldNetDaily, April 26, 1999, www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=14726; Christian teenagers were shot at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado after being asked if they believed in God, and answering “Yes”).
LTRP Note: For 6 years, Lighthouse Trails has been following the story of homosexual-turned-Christian-believer, Lisa Miller and her young daughter, Isabella.
“Pastor Convicted of Helping Ex-Lesbian Flee Country With Daughter Ordered to Report to Prison”
By Heather Clark
Christian News Network
BURLINGTON, Vt. — A Mennonite pastor who was convicted of providing assistance to an ex-lesbian who fled the country with her daughter has been ordered to report to prison next month after losing his appeal.
As previously reported, Kenneth Miller of Stuarts Draft, Virginia was convicted in August 2012 for helping Lisa Miller (no relation) and her young daughter Isabella travel to Buffalo, New York, where they crossed the border into Canada and then escaped to Nicaragua.
The situation began in 2000, when Lisa Miller, then a homosexual, joined in a civil union with lesbian Janet Jenkins in the state of Vermont. Following an artificial insemination procedure, Miller gave birth to baby Isabella in 2002. Click here to continue reading.
Chronicle of Our Coverage on the Lisa/Isabella Miller Situation:
January 2010: Lesbian ‘mother’ case presents constitutional issue
January 2010: Vermont Judge Threatens Mother in Hiding With Arrest