Friday, February 28, 2014

Another blow in the culture war

You are probably aware that Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona recently vetoed a law passed in the legislature that would have allowed what some have called discrimination against gays for religious reasons. The law was inspired by a situation in neighboring New Mexico where a gay couple sued because the management of a bakery refused to make a cake for their wedding because of its Christian commitment.

The veto, however, proved surprisingly popular. Economic interests opposed the bill, feeling -- justifiably -- that a potential economic boycott would result and hurt business. Next year's Super Bowl will be held in suburban Phoenix, and the National Football League likely has a lot of pull. Even Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012 and a leader in the notoriously conservative Church of Jesus Church of Latter-Day Saints, came out against it.

So what do folks who oppose same-gender matrimony do? I'm not sure that's the right question.

I think a number of us have forgotten that we live in a fallen world, one that never was really "safe" for Christians despite many of our values becoming an unquestioned and, to a certain extent, essential part of American culture. But while our culture may adopt our values, it will never know the God Who gave them, so when folks turn on us we should not be surprised.

It may be coming to the point where we may need to sacrifice to maintain what we believe to be clear Biblical teaching. Of course that's not a popular word.

According to the late Chuck Colson's book "Kingdoms in Conflict," repackaged as "God and Government," the city of New York passed a law several decades ago that banned discrimination against gays in entities that had contracts with the city. That was problematic for the Salvation Army, the Catholic archdiocese and a conservative Jewish synagogue, which had contracts to provide certain services. What did the religious groups do?

They cancelled the contracts. (And that was a good move.)

But how do we make money? you might ask. Never mind -- if you really trust God He will make a way. He's far bigger than this dying culture, and we're under no obligation to cooperate with it, nor can we always bend it to our will.

Monday, February 3, 2014

More random thoughts ...

Nobody asked me, but ...

-- You probably heard about the controversies concerning last week’s Grammy Awards ceremonies, which Christian singer Natalie Grant, up for two awards, walked out of because of what some may call a glorification of Satan, and also due to a mass gay wedding. Such situations might understandably upset some Christians, and I for one certainly don’t support gay marriage. (I did watch the show for a time, largely because I wanted to see the band Chicago, my all-time favorite pop-rock act.)

I hope we understand, however, that this is the world we live in and a secular show might very well contain such themes these days. Are they doing so to persecute Christians? I don’t believe so; at best, it’s a shot at culture-warriors intent on forcing their values down everyone’s throats so that they can live in this world and avoid spiritual warfare. Sorry, but that ain’t gonna happen and we need to get used to that.

-- You probably heard the recent conservative meme about the hypocrisy of feminists supporting President Bill Clinton back in the day despite allegations of sexual harassment; the truth, however, is that he never really was. Monica Lewinsky, his dalliance with whom triggered his impeachment, made advances toward him — in fact, Linda Tripp, the White House aide and anti-Clinton conspiracy point person indicted in Maryland on wiretapping charges, was recorded as saying, “She’s had affairs with married men before.” And as for Paula Jones, she went to court only because her first name had been dropped, inadvertently, in a story written by then-American Spectator writer David Brock, who mentioned later in a book that she was possibly interested in a relationship with him; her original legal team quit because it recognized that she had no case.

Let’s be honest as to what this is really about: Another pre-emptive strike against Hillary Clinton, who remains the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic nomination for president in 2016. While she hasn’t officially announced, it’s well-accepted that if she does run she’ll not only win handily but, due to her coattails thanks to Bill’s popularity, possibly even destroy the Republican Party as we know it today — and the GOP has to know this. Recall that Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment right during his Supreme Court hearings, those charges corroborated by three other women mentioned by ABC News Nightline had they testified. “Well, that was really about politics,” you might say. True, perhaps — no different than today.

-- Scholar and writer Dinesh D’Souza has complained that President Obama is going after him because of his film “Obama’s America: 2016” that was released just before the presidential election of 2012; recall that he’s being indicted for election fraud for illegally funding a Congressional candidate; I notice, however, that few conservative Republicans, none of any stature, are supporting him. That tells me one of two possibly related things: 1) They did the same thing, perhaps being involved themselves; or 2) They know that that the charge against him is legitimate.

-- I was rooting for the Seattle Seahawks during last night’s Super Bowl, primarily because they would have won their first championship. (In fact I would have done so the previous time they made the game except for one thing: They were playing the Steelers.) I didn’t expect, however, a complete meltdown from the Denver Broncos.