Tag Archive for: Biblical Worldview

Joe Biden, Uncle Screwtape, and ‘Our Nation’s Soul’

In an age when presidential candidates of both parties ignore the will of the majority to cater to an infinitesimal minority, it is noteworthy when a politician takes an uncompromisingly biblical stand on public issues. It is more remarkable when that leader represents a secular nation, cites the Bible on a national platform, and has a delightful British accent. Yet a member of the U.K.’s Parliament made a statement that should serve as a model for any American leader.

Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Conservative Member of Parliament, literally quoted chapter-and-verse on the GB News show “State of the Nation” last Thursday. “Ladies and gentlemen. I can exclusively reveal that I in fact do not identify with a gender, because I take my line from Genesis 1:27: ‘So God created man in His own image. In the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.’ And it’s for not me to overrule the work of God,” he said. In 58 words, he exposed extreme gender ideology as nonsensical and idolatrous.

Rees-Mogg, whose aristocratic manner created a boomlet of support to elect him prime minister, possesses other traits now uncommon among British authorities. The father of six upholds a consistent pro-life position, describes abortion as a “cult of death,” and affirms marriage as the unique union of one man and woman based on his deeply held Christian faith. One prominent American priest called him “a practically perfect Catholic politician.”

The U.K. MP’s faithfulness contrasts markedly with America’s second Catholic president, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. The president’s handlers invariably label him a “devout” Roman Catholic. Yet last Thursday Biden issued the first of his two statements (and a fact sheet) celebrating the “Transgender Day of Visibility,” in which the president asserted: “Transgender Americans shape our [n]ation’s soul.” On the same day a politician in profoundly secular England proclaimed God’s creation of the material world, the president of the world’s most powerful Christian-majority nation credited transgender activists with forming the immaterial soul.

Biden has shown perplexing attention to the “soul of the nation.” He regularly sows confusion by subtly implying that God intended people to struggle with gender dysphoria. His humanistic hermeneutics, not coincidentally, echo the theology of transgender activists.

Last Wednesday night, a man who identifies as a woman asserted that God is a female and created transgenderism. In the next seat was the media’s most celebrated “evangelical” leader, who called Christian conservatism “anti-Christ.”

“I go to church every Sunday. My faith is very important to me. But God made me in her image. God made me transgender,” Charles Clymer, who now goes by the name Charlotte Clymer, told MSNBC’s “The ReidOut.” Moments later, hostess Joy Reid said she picked Clymer — the former press spokesman of an LGBT pressure group and ex-communications director at Catholics for Choice — as one of “the two specific people I wanted to talk to” about the shooting at a Nashville Christian school.

Of course, the Bible states that Jesus Christ is God and that “all things were made by Him” (John 1:1-3). Jesus, Who is certainly not female, referred to the First Person of the Trinity as “Father” more than 100 times. Furthermore, the Bible tells us, “God is not the author of confusion” (I Corinthians 14:33).

As Clymer proclaimed gender confusion a fruit of the goddess’ Spirit, Reid’s other chosen guest, Sojourners founder Jim Wallis, stared silently into the camera. When Reid gave Wallis the last word, he declined to correct his colleague for misgendering the Almighty but accused conservatives of “worshiping a false god.” Earlier in the segment, he charged anyone who opposes gun control with worshiping the Oriental idol Moloch, mentioned in the Book of Leviticus (which he cited without mentioning what that book says about the LGBTQ issue in the very next verse). After Clymer’s descent into heresy, Wallis — who sycophantically offered to “link our pulpits to the bully pulpit” during the Obama-Biden administration — rained fire and brimstone on his political enemies. Second Amendment advocacy “is anti-Gospel, anti-Christ. And so this is a false worship we’re confronting here. We have got to confront it theologically,” Wallis said. “They are worshiping a false god.”

Capitalizing on flagging faith, biblical illiteracy, and dwindling church attendance to preach some “other Gospel” is as old as Christianity itself (Galatians 1:8). Wallis and Clymer followed a devilish strategy laid out by C.S. Lewis in “The Screwtape Letters”: “[I]f men become Christians at all … let them at least be Christians with a difference,” Lewis wrote. “Substitute for the faith itself some Fashion with a Christian coloring.”

The ultimate aim, the senior demon Screwtape tells nephew Screwtape, is to “direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them all running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under.”

Presumably, this includes fretting about “transphobic” Christian speech and believers’ gun ownership at the moment a transgender mass murderer slaughtered a half-dozen believers inside a Christian school, three of them under the age of 10. Or getting worked into a foam about U.S. coastal lands going underwater as U.S. carbon emissions have fallen 31% since 2000.

Yet history teaches some theologians will always volunteer to assist in this game of biblical Three-card Monte. Witness the fact that the University of Helsinki announced it plans to present an honorary doctorate of theology to 20-year-old climate critic Greta Thunberg on June 9. This author has never seen Thunberg launch into lengthy discussions of Jesus, the Bible, or other weighty matters of religious faith and morals. The only thing Greta Thunberg and certain Christian theologians have in common is that both have inaccurately predicted the end of the world. Yet the faculty defended their award on biblical grounds. Thunberg’s “concern for the future of the Earth … has everything to do with academic theology which is no less interested in the Earth as it is in Heaven,” Martti Nissinen, one of the university’s theology professors, told the Daily Caller.

If their faith cares as much about Earth as Heaven, perhaps that’s because the Earth is where so much of their theology originates (James 3:15). The antidote to heresy is orthodoxy; the cure for counterfeit theology is quoting true Scripture; and the solution to America’s harmful transgender policies comes by electing leaders who can discern the difference between the two.

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

New Podcast to Tackle Today’s Critical Issues from a Biblical Worldview

The Washington Stand’s (TWS) new podcast is now available. The podcast, called “Outstanding,” will feature TWS writers and others exploring the news from a biblical worldview. With the aim of having critical conversations on the news of the day and the issues that shape us, the podcast is hosted by Joseph Backholm, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement.

Washington Stand editor-in-chief Jared Bridges said, “Christians are instructed in 2 Corinthians 10:5 to ‘take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.’ In today’s media we have an abundance of thoughts speeding at us. At TWS, we wanted a way to help readers take some of these swirling thoughts captive from a biblical worldview. This podcast gives us a format for unpacking some of those big ideas and concepts we’re confronted with in the news every day.”

As Backholm put it, “There are so many stories other news outlets don’t want to cover. This will give us an opportunity to tell those stories in a way we haven’t been able to do before and reach a new audience as well.”

“People are confused about what’s happening in the world,” he went on, “and I look forward to helping people get clarity about what is happening in our ever-changing world so we can confidently do what God has called us to do.”

The podcast is now available on many popular podcast apps, including:

Episodes 1-4 are fully available at launch, and new episodes will be released each week, so interested listeners should subscribe to “Outstanding” on their favorite podcast app.

AUTHOR

TWS Staff Report

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand podcast is republished with permission. All rights reserved. ©2023 Family Research Council


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

‘Day of Vengeance’: Trans Activist Group Organizes a Gathering in D.C.

Although it’s only Tuesday, Americans have lived through several sobering breaking news stories already this week, ranging from the aftermath of the tornado that ripped through Mississippi to the Nashville school shooting that left three adults and three children dead. And based on the Left’s latest call to action, leaders worry the violence may only continue.

A transgender activist group, referred to as TRAN (Trans Radical Activist Network), will be hosting an event called “Day of Vengeance” in Washington, D.C. from March 31 through April 2. Attendees are encouraged to wear a mask and arrive at the Supreme Court at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Although details are still being finalized, TRAN has heavily advertised for the event by posting graphics on TikTok and promoting their motto, “The time is now.”

“The Trans/Non-Binary/Gender Non-Conforming/Intersex communities are facing astronomical amounts of hate from the world,” the activist group states on their Day of Vengeance website. “The trans/non-binary/gender non-conforming/intersex communities have always existed. ‘We’re Here, We’re Queer, and We aren’t going anywhere’ needs to be echoed loudly.”

The “nationwide network of activists and community organizers for transgender/non-binary rights” have also announced their plans to raise funds that will allow transgender-identifying individuals in the state of Virginia to receive firearms and self-defense training. TRAN tweeted an encouragement to their selective viewers to attend the dance at a Richmond club, saying, “Come boogie with us and defend trans life!”

The “Day of Vengeance” is set to occur the same week a Wayne State University (WSU) professor was suspended for his threatening words against “right-winged speakers.” College of Liberal Arts and Sciences professor Steven Shaviro wrote a Facebook post, claiming it is “far more admirable to kill a racist, homophobic, or transphobic speaker than it is to shout them down.”

“The transgender community is, by definition, mentally troubled,” said Joseph Backholm, senior fellow for Biblical Worldview and Strategic Engagement at Family Research Council. “That doesn’t mean they will all become school shooters any more than it means all young white men will become school shooters because some have been. But denying that a troubled population is troubled isn’t going to make anything better, but that’s what we’ve been doing for a while now.”

The idea for “Day of Vengeance” was adopted from another transgender awareness day called “International Transgender Day of Visibility,” devoted “to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide.” According to TRAN co-founder Tsukuru Fors, visibility is no longer enough.

“We are calling for Trans Day of Vengeance,” he said in an interview with Struggle La Lucha. “Vengeance means fighting back with vehemence. It is our battle cry to declare to the world that we the transgender/non-binary communities will neither be silenced nor eradicated. And we are calling to our allies, members of other marginalised communities to make themselves known and to fight with us.”

In light of this weekend’s event, Backholm shared that there may be a bigger issue at hand. “A transgender day of vengeance is consistent with their worldview. Forgiveness is part of a broader worldview that acknowledges your own need to be forgiven and the ability to place your hope in something other than your circumstances. Many people who identify as transgender have embraced a worldview in which all their problems are someone else’s fault and forgiveness simply perpetuates their oppression. In that world, vengeance is the evil but logical response.”

AUTHOR

Abigail Olsson

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

RELATED ARTICLE: What are They Afraid Of? LGBTQ+ Groups Try To Block Release Of Trans Nashville Shooter’s Manifesto

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The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

3 Questions to Shape a Biblical Perspective on the Nashville Shooting

On Sunday, March 26, Reverend Chad Scruggs faithfully preached God’s Word from John 12:36-50 to Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, extolling 1) God’s plan in the Jews’ rejection of Jesus and 2) Jesus’s subsequent glory. On Monday, March 27, his nine-year-old daughter Hallie was one of six people shot dead at the church’s Christian school by a 28-year-old former student.

The shooter carried out a horrific act of evil. Sudden, devastating loss is hard to process at any time. But, under such circumstances, it can cause us to doubt the goodness of God or provoke us to respond in sinful anger. Thinking through three questions can help us to shape a more biblical perspective on tragedies like the Nashville shooting.

1. Why did it happen?

The Bible teaches that all evil and suffering in the world is a consequence of mankind’s sin. When God created the world, he declared all that he had made “very good” (Genesis 1:31). But when Adam and Eve disobeyed God, he cursed creation and drove them out of the garden (Genesis 3); when mankind commits evil, God justly dispenses suffering as a consequence. Mankind quickly multiplied their sin, even committing (Genesis 4:8) and then boasting about (Genesis 4:23) murder. This general truth is foundational to a biblical understanding of suffering.

However, it does not follow that every bit of suffering in the world can be directly tied to a particular sin. The Bible supplies different categories, with numerous examples for each. People can suffer because of their own sins, because of the sins of others, or because of no discernable sin at all.

This often means that we suffer, or know others who suffer, without being able to identify a reason. Even if we can identify a proximate or instrumental reason — such as a school shooter — we often don’t understand why God allows the suffering, or why a trial afflicts a particular person.

Unexplained suffering is a thread that runs throughout the Bible. Joseph was sold into slavery (Genesis 37:28) and thrown into prison (Genesis 39:20) for no discernable reason. Only later, after his imprisonment led to his preventing a seven-year famine and saving his family from starvation, did Joseph clearly see God’s purpose behind his suffering (Genesis 45:5-8). The man born blind (John 9:1) lived to adulthood without receiving an explanation for his lack of sight. Jesus said the reason for his blindness was not any particular sin, but “that the works of God might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). His years of unexplained blindness led to his believing in Jesus unto eternal life (John 9:38). We read that the reason for Job’s suffering was that God was holding him up to Satan as an example of righteousness (Job 1:8). But, as far as we know, even after God restored Job to health and prosperity, he never told Job the reason for his suffering. David complained, “More in number than the hairs of my head are those who hate me without cause” (Psalm 69:4). Even as a prophet, he could hardly comprehend how his words looked forward to his greater son, Jesus Christ (John 15:25).

The Bible teaches that God is working out his good purposes even amid seemingly senseless suffering. We have God’s promise that “for those who love God all things work together for good” (Romans 8:28). Paul lists some of the things he had in mind, “tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword” (Romans 8:34). God even turns the evil purposes of man to the ultimate good of his people. Joseph told his treacherous brothers, “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive” (Genesis 50:20). Peter reminded his readers that their trials were “now” — not later — “for a little while” — not forever — and “if necessary” — not pointless (1 Peter 1:6).

2. What should I think about this?

The Bible teaches that God will only give his children trials that are necessary for them. At the same time, it teaches that they will face trials. “In the world you will have tribulation,” said Jesus, “but take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The conclusion to draw from these two teachings is that sufferings and trials are necessary for us.

One purpose of the trials we face is “so that the tested genuineness of your faith — more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire — may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 1:7). Like pure gold, pure faith is tested and proven genuine in the fire of affliction. Job’s trials revealed his faith, “I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth” (Job 19:25).

Another purpose of our trials is our sanctification. Trials produce steadfastness, making us “perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:4). Our sufferings produce endurance, character, and hope (Romans 5:3-4). Our humiliation conforms us to the pattern of Christ Jesus who, “emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).

One particular trial Christians should expect is persecution. We don’t know yet whether the Nashville shooter targeted the school because of its Christian beliefs; if she did, it would be entirely consistent with the Bible’s teaching. We do know that terrorists in Nigeria killed 27 Christians in two attacks this month because of their beliefs. “Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you,” Jesus told his disciples the night before is persecutors put him to death (John 15:20).

Remember, too, that other word of Jesus, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).

3. How should we respond?

Christianity is no abstract religion; its doctrines resolve into action. So, given the truths about sin, suffering, and trials presented above, how should Christians respond in action?

For starters, we should “weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). The communities of Covenant Presbyterian Church and The Covenant School must be devastated right now. It’s appropriate to feel compassion for them, mourn with them, and take time just to bear that grief. By the way, that includes the shooter’s mother, who made the financial sacrifice to enroll her daughter in the Christian school and presumably earnestly desired her salvation.

At the same time, let’s be careful how we respond to the perpetrator. “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them,” said Paul in the same place (Romans 12:14). It can be tempting to let our minds run to angry, evil thoughts, or at least to let our mouths run to name-calling or condemnations of a whole class. But those aren’t Christlike responses. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).

That raises another way in which we should take Jesus for our model: trusting God. “Let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good” (1 Peter 4:19). This means continuing to worship God, adore his character, and look to his providential care even when he fills our days with bitter sorrow. It means continuing to believe that God “exists and that he rewards those who seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).

This trust in God entails an acknowledgment that God can order all things as he pleases. “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him” (Ecclesiastes 7:14). Or, as Job put it, “Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Such a response is neither easy nor natural. It’s only possible if we are more convinced of the reality and worth of God’s character and promises than in our own circumstances. But it’s the type of supernatural response that God-given trials are designed to reveal in us to his glory.

Finally, when suffering touches us, we should endure obediently. “If when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God,” wrote Peter (1 Peter 2:20). Scripture gives several practical reasons to encourage us in obedient endurance.

First, humility is the path to honor. “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted,” Jesus repeated (Luke 14:11, 18:14). “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you” (1 Peter 5:6).

Second, all our striving against God’s mighty hand can accomplish nothing. “Consider the work of God: who can make straight what he has made crooked?” (Ecclesiastes 7:13). In his book, “The Crook in the Lot,” Puritan pastor Thomas Boston explained that, instead of squirming and striving against the trial, a wiser approach is to consider what work God is doing through the trial. If the infinitely wise God has appointed this trial for you, and nothing you can do can make the trial go away until God takes it away, then the way to make the best of your circumstances is to consider what God is doing and submit yourself to his plan.

Third, God uses trials to sanctify us. The preacher said, “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit” (Ecclesiastes 7:8). The proud in spirit has yet to be humbled by God, and God will most certainly bring him down. But the patient in spirit can say with Paul, “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound” (Philippians 4:11-12).

These biblical doctrines and instructions for holy living are difficult to accept — even more so when intense suffering besets us. But often, times of suffering are what God uses to change our hearts so that we can accept them.

The goal in trials should be to acknowledge God’s eternal plan and Christ’s eternal glory, as Reverend Scruggs preached on Sunday.

What is God doing through this Nashville shooting? Perhaps he intends to grow that church’s understanding of the truths preached to them just before this horrific tragedy. Perhaps he intends to display his glory through the supernatural responses of Christians struggling through unimaginable bitterness and sorrow. Perhaps he intends to confuse his enemies and advance his kingdom by converting the souls wandering furthest from him.

God has many good purposes in every good and bad thing that happens. Some we know. Some we can reason towards, based upon what we find in Scripture. Some we will learn about someday. But some purposes of the infinite, eternal Creator we will never know.

Of one thing we can be certain: all of our suffering will one day dissolve into insignificance when God himself will dwell with his people and “wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4). No stranger to suffering, the apostle Paul reasoned, “the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).

AUTHOR

Joshua Arnold

Joshua Arnold is a staff writer at The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.

RELATED ARTICLE: Shock Poll: Americans’ Respect for Faith, Patriotism, and Family Plunges


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Confront Evil, Protect the Vulnerable

There were signs of spring everywhere — in the bright morning sun, the pink flowers lining trees beside the parking lot, the signs for Easter services. As a small gray car rounded the bend, security cameras caught little children pumping their legs on swing sets in the background — the last carefree moment any of them will remember about this day. As they have in too many cities, Nashville’s moms and dads went about their days, not realizing they’d said goodbye for the last time.

For the seven families whose lives changed forever Monday morning, there is no making sense of the heartbreak. But for one set of parents, it’s a unique kind of pain — knowing their daughter is the one responsible. Norma Hale, whose Facebook page is full of proud mom moments, woke up Tuesday with the knowledge that her 28-year-old child’s last words to a friend were “I don’t want to live.” Moments later, Audrey Hale shot through the double glass doors she’d walked through hundreds of times as a Covenant school student, ready to kill.

Miles away, a stunned Averianna Patton sat holding her phone, rereading the text that something bad was about to happen. “Audrey!” she had frantically written back. “You have so much more life to live. I pray God keeps and covers you.”

But it was too late. Hale was walking the hallways of her old Christian school, gunning down anyone in her path. A beloved custodian. The revered head of the school. A favorite substitute teacher. The senior pastor’s only daughter. A nine-year-old boy and girl. In a split second, the buzz of classrooms gave way to sirens and school alarms.

Outside, officers grabbed rifles — listening to reports that some kids were unaccounted for. “Let’s go!” Officers Rex Engelbert is heard yelling to his men, who all take off running toward the gunfire. Unlike Uvalde, where police were paralyzed by indecision, Nashville’s team charged into the school and up the stairs, seeing Hale spraying bullets on the police cars below. Twenty-five seconds later, Officers Engelbert and Michael Callazo fired the shots that took her down — an act of pure and selfless heroism.

No one knows how many others might have died without these men sprinting into the face of evil. “The first call to 911 about shots being fired in the building came in at 10:13 a.m.,” Nashville Police Chief John Drake said. They saved lives. “Let us praise our first responders,” Mayor John Cooper urged. “Fourteen minutes,” Cooper said, referring to the time it took police to get to the scene and stop the shooter. “Fourteen minutes, under fire, running to gunfire.”

In the chaos that followed, children raced down the sidewalks in their school uniforms, holding hands with teachers. From every direction, panicked adults started to arrive, wondering if their child was one of the dead.

Inside, police tried to get a grasp on the casualties. Hale had “a significant amount” of ammunition, they discovered. And a manifesto. “There’s some belief that there was some resentment for having to go to that school,” Drake explained, as outlets started to pick up on the explosive news that Audrey identified as Aiden.

Immediately, the Left turned loose its attack dogs, savaging Drake and the media for “misgendering” the shooter that everyone had rightly described as a woman. Within hours, both USA Today and The New York Times apologized for calling Audrey a “female,” ultimately editing stories and headlines to appease the unappeasable mob who have fostered hostility for those who refuse to yield to their dangerous and destructive charade.

Hours later, the blame game began in earnest. None of this would have happened, activists said, if society were more accepting of the trans ideology, if Audrey’s parents had just been more open to her male identity, if states had just stopped banning drag shows and kids’ gender transitions.

One NBC reporter even went so far as to lay responsibility at the feet of conservatives for fighting to protect children from the transgender ideology that so obviously haunted Hale. “The GOP have decided that guns are more important than kids,” actor Josh Gad argued. “They have decided it is okay to let kids die.” If she was a victim of anything, others claimed, it was “intolerant … brainwashing” and “religious indoctrination.” Then came the ridicule. “Is it possible they weren’t praying enough?” talk show host David Pakman mocked the school. “If prayers alone worked there wouldn’t have been a mass shooting at a school where they pray…” one gun control activist scoffed.

Make no mistake. A storm is brewing in this country that screams, “Christianity is the problem!” The calls will come — if they haven’t already — for the faithful to step back from cultural engagement, to acquiesce on biblical truth where the battle is raging the fiercest: for our children. It’s the same argument the Left has been using on the parents of confused kids — give in or they’ll hurt themselves. To the church it will be: back off or they’ll hurt others.

The inclination will be to move away from biblical truth, the very source of hope and freedom that confused and troubled souls like Audrey need. But that’s not the way forward in a nation broken and bleeding. As much as the other side would like to manage the chaos by indulging these delusions and passing meaningless legislation, the problem isn’t the state of our laws; it’s the condition of the heart.

These tragedies, whether they’re in Nashville or Newtown, are the bitter fruit of a deception that’s destroying us. It’s time to address these lies with urgency, acknowledging that we are a broken people in need of the God that we keep pushing away. It is our moment to do what the brave officers in Nashville did: confront and engage the crisis. These aren’t men who sat on the sidelines, letting the shooter take aim at more children. They rushed straight into the face of danger and protected the weak. As Christians, we’re called to do the same: confront evil and protect the vulnerable so they may know Jesus.

That’s not easy in a society as hostile to truth as ours. But we do not honor the memories of Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, Williams Kinney, Mike Hill, Cynthia Peak, and Katherine Koonce by abandoning the faith they died living. A spiritual battle is raging for this generation, and we will not win it with silence. We’ve been called, as Ezekiel was called, to speak the word of God in dark days — no matter the cost. “Be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words … [Y]ou shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house” (2:6a,7).

For now, we are a nation swimming in grief. But consider the timing of this tragedy, so near Easter. In this season of empty tombs, we cling to the only hope capable of holding the hurting together. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live” (John 11:25). To those families suffering under the weight of unspeakable loss, we rejoice with them that Jesus’s death was not the end of His story — and it will not be the end of theirs either.

AUTHOR

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©2023 Family Research Council.


The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Guilty! Prosecutors Link Abortion to Infanticide

Pro-life leaders have always said legalized abortion devalues life and paves the way to infanticide — a view verified by a recent tragedy and upheld in a court of law.

First, the tragedy: A young mother has been convicted of delivering twin babies in her home and letting them die of neglect. Maya Caston, then 25 of St. Louis, gave birth while sitting on her toilet on January 6, 2020. Caston then wrapped her newborns’ mouths and noses in a towel and did not wash or feed them for two days. (She testified that she tried to feed the children but, when they refused to take a bottle, she took no further action.) When they died two days later, she called the police to say she had given birth to two stillborn children, a boy and a girl. Officers soon realized the infants had not died from a miscarriage.

The St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office initially charged Caston with two counts of second-degree murder and child abuse. Last Friday, a jury found her guilty of involuntary manslaughter and child endangerment.

Now, the remarkable legal admission: The court directly tied her double infanticide to legal abortion. The district attorney’s office highlighted how, in the months before she gave birth, Caston searched the internet for such terms as “cheap abortion pills,” “free abortion clinic,” and “can you cause a miscarriage if you hit yourself in the stomach hard enough?” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports, “Prosecutors argued that Caston’s extensive internet searches for miscarriages and abortion methods in the months before she gave birth, her initial lie to police and her lack of action to get care for the twins proved she caused the deaths.” Within hours of her children’s birth, she searched tips about burying them in her yard.

Jurors also dismissed claims that Caston, who is cognitively delayed, lacked the ability to understand her actions were wrong. (Defense attorneys had submitted an IQ test placing her in the bottom one percentile of intelligence.) “It’s a sad situation, but it’s still murder,” said Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Thomas Dittmeier in his closing argument.

Caston’s shocking actions cut to the heart of the matter in a way only possible for the truly simple. She intuitively understood and applied the messages sent by American culture and laws, only to be punished for exposing the tragedy that lies at the heart of those institutions.

Infanticide Mirrors Abortion

The only criteria separating abortion from infanticide is timing — and, for now, legality. If an unborn child is a “parasite” with no right to demand that her mother assures her survival, why should she have any claim on her mother’s “autonomy” after her birth?

Desperately clinging to DIY chemical abortion, the abortion industry and its political allies ask women to administer their own abortions at home. Caston took that to its logical conclusion and did not pay the abortionists for miscarriage-inducing pills.

Even the location of her infanticide mirrored the advice of abortionists such as Carmen Landau. She told an undercover Live Action employee seeking to abort a viable, 27-week-old unborn baby that, if she feels she’s going to give birth before the late-term abortion is completed, she should “sit on the toilet.”

“If it comes out, then it comes out. Flush it,” an employee of a New York City abortion facility, Dr. Emily’s Women’s Health Center in the Bronx, told Live Action during another late-term abortion sting. If the child were born alive inside the abortion facility, she explained, the abortionist would “put it in a container — like, a jar — with solution and send it to the lab.”

What would happen, the mother asked, if the newborn is breathing or moving after the abortion? “The solution will make it stop,” the abortion industry employer responded. “That’s the whole purpose of the solution.”

… And that’s the whole purpose of the towel. Legal abortion apparently allows newborns to die; Caston merely cut out the middleman. The Democratic Party platform demands taxpayer-funded abortion until birth; Caston simply extended those parameters by 48 hours.

Caston’s conviction serves as an indictment against much of our political class. When the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act came before the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this month, all but one Democrat voted against punishing abortionists who would treat newborn babies the same way Caston did. At least one Democrat introduced a bill that would have effectively decriminalized Caston’s actions. An alleged “oversight” in a California’s Assembly Bill 2223introduced by Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D), banned police from investigating any “perinatal death” that took place anywhere from a few days, up to 30 or “60 days following delivery.”

Caston’s heartbreaking experience should cause Christians to reflect deeply on the Bible’s neglected teachings about the role our laws play in shaping our national character.

The Law Is Our Teacher, For Better or Worse

Political philosophers have long cited the didactic and catechetical aspects of the law in shaping and forming the consciences — and behavior — of citizens. Aristotle wrote, “It is difficult for one to be guided rightly towards virtue from an early age unless he is brought up under such laws. … [T]he nurture and pursuits of the young should be regulated by laws, for when they become habitual they are not painful.” Government does more than regulate the commercial interactions of atomized individuals. “The state ought not to be considered as nothing better than a partnership agreement in a trade of pepper and coffee, calico or tobacco, or some other such low concern” of commerce, said Edmund Burke. It is, instead, “a partnership in every virtue, and in all perfection … linking the lower with the higher natures, connecting the visible and invisible world.”

Burke’s oration echoed biblical injunctions. Earthly laws should punish evil and reward those who do well (Romans 13:3). In the process, they teach us right from wrong. The Apostle Paul tells us even the Old Testament law acted as “our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ” (Galatians 3:24). When unjust laws reign, they teach citizens to call good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20) … and they bring us to the Antichrist. In the process, consciences become degraded, morality becomes warped, and society fills with the blood of the innocent. Wicked laws inflict the deepest wounds on those who, like Caston, most rely on society’s cues to lighten their darkness. “If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:23.)

American society taught that life, made in the image of God, deserves no more dignified treatment than a bowel movement; that DIY abortions are the path to liberation; and that an infant’s life begins “when the mother thinks it begins.” Then it punished Maya Caston for taking that message to heart and holding up a mirror to the culture of death. The abortion-political complex shows no signs of mitigating its rhetoric, or its actions. Heartrending stories like Caston’s will continue until America learns to apply Dittmeier’s summation to every abortion: “It’s a sad situation, but it’s still murder.”

AUTHOR

Ben Johnson

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished. All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Damar Hamlin, Paul Pelosi, and the Culture of Cynicism

Damar Hamlin is not dead. And Paul Pelosi was not engaging in funny business with his attacker.

Over the past few weeks, not everyone has agreed on those two points. Those who have reconciled the point with Hamlin seem to be more plentiful, and the consensus on the Pelosi opinion seems to be settling as well. Still, a cursory search of social media shows not everyone is convinced. But let’s back up a bit.

On January 2, 2023, Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin dropped quickly to the ground after taking a hit in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. He didn’t get up. Hamlin was hospitalized following a frighteningly long time on the field (the game was suspended), and a surprising nationwide prayer effort ensued. The social media rumor mill spun up immediately, with many attributing his cardiac arrest to his vaccination status. When that speculation didn’t lead to any conclusive ends, and public information about Hamlin’s case became scarce, another rumor began to circulate: Damar Hamlin was really dead. After all, even during his few public appearances following the incident, his face was obscured. It must be a body double, right?

Before the Hamlin incident, the slowly-emerging facts around the attack on then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) husband sparked its own slew of conspiracy theories on social media. Last fall, police responded to a 911 call about a home invasion at the Pelosi residence in San Francisco (Pelosi was in Washington at the time). When police arrived, Paul Pelosi was attacked by a man wielding a hammer. When initial public reports about the incident seemed hazy and incomplete, speculation and rumors ensued, often posed in the form of a question. Had Pelosi let the attacker in? Had he invited him? Did Paul Pelosi have an illicit relationship with the attacker? There were too many unanswered questions, went the narrative, and the official story didn’t add up.

Of course, as has now been shown neither conspiracy was true. Damar Hamlin is very much alive. Case closed. And the now-released video and audio of the Paul Pelosi incident show that, though the interaction was indeed weird (what home invasion isn’t a little weird?), Pelosi was most likely trying to keep the attacker calm — which ultimately failed when the police arrived.

Where do conspiracy theories like these emerge? What’s wrong with our society that people are so instantly cynical of anything and everything? Are we doomed to be a culture so enveloped in distrust that we can’t take anyone at their word?

Such an environment is not new. The prophet Jeremiah spoke about this as a warning to a people who weren’t following the Lord:

“Let everyone beware of his neighbor,
and put no trust in any brother,
for every brother is a deceiver,
and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Everyone deceives his neighbor,
and no one speaks the truth;
they have taught their tongue to speak lies;
they weary themselves committing iniquity.
Heaping oppression upon oppression, and deceit upon deceit,
they refuse to know me, declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 9:4–6, ESV)

The further a culture strays from truth, the more it must search for it. Conspiracy theorists masquerade as the ultimate truth-seekers, except for the fact that they never arrive at the truth. Living in an age where flat earthers really do exist, it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that any one of us might become swept up in a lesser conspiracy.

One contributing factor to this susceptibility is our appetite for immediate, omniscient knowledge about everything. Because he is a public figure, we take it for granted that we should know every detail about Damar Hamlin’s recovery. The fact that so many of us share much of our lives with the world on social media contributes — if we share everything about ourselves, then why shouldn’t we know everything about everyone else? The truth is, however, that social media personas are only part of the picture. The only way to fully know someone still requires some amount of physical proximity. That’s why most conspiracies are entertained from afar.

Even with the video evidence of Hamlin’s survival and Paul Pelosi’s genuine-yet-weird behavior during his attack, some will continue to refuse to acknowledge reality. Their never-ending pursuit of conspiratorial truth would come crashing down if they did. The cynic’s constant vigilance to see through everything and everyone causes them to miss what’s really present in front of them.

Jeremiah’s warning to his people was rooted in a refusal to know the Lord – a condition that’s not far removed from the conspiracy theorist’s refusal to ever arrive at the truth. Thankfully truth really does have an end in the person of Jesus Christ. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8, ESV). In him, we can find rest from the endless search to find a truth with endless depth.

AUTHOR

Jared Bridges

Jared Bridges is editor-in-chief of The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

Policeman’s Resignation Shows the Fallout over Marriage Has Begun

Last week, North Carolina Senator Thom Tillis (N.C.) bragged to The Washington Post that he doesn’t “vote for anything” that he thinks “will have a serious political consequence.” They were glib words for a man who’d just put his name behind a bill rewriting marriage for every American. Like the 11 other Republican senators whose moral courage collapsed before the nation’s eyes, Senator Tillis would have you believe there’s no fallout from his vote for same-sex marriage. But a young Georgia policeman who’s out of a job over his beliefs would beg to disagree.

“Christians should not be fearful of this legislation,” Senator Todd Young (R-Ind.) wrote in an op-ed for the Indy Star. The so-called Respect for Marriage Act, he insisted, offers “far more in the way of religious liberty protections than [we have now].” Tell that to Jacob Kersey, who was a 19-year-old rookie of the Port Wentworth Police Department, until his supervisors decided his views on marriage were too “offensive.” Try telling Jacob that Christians don’t need to worry that these laws “will be used as a weapon to bludgeon them for their beliefs,” as Senator Young claimed, because this young man — like every American with a bullseye on their backs — won’t believe it.

Barely a month after Joe Biden signed his name to the law upending marriage in all 50 states, every excuse these 12 Republicans made is turning out to be exactly what conservatives warned they were — lies. “… [W]e have just improved on religious liberty protections … across the United States,” Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) said, despite every legal argument to the contrary. Now, these dozen senators are making prophets out of conservatives, who warned that abandoning marriage would only usher in a new wave of oppression.

For Kersey, that oppression was swift, coming less than 24 hours after a Facebook post he made on his personal account. “God designed marriage,” he wrote January 2. “Marriage refers to Christ and the church,” he explained in reference to in Ephesians 5. “That’s why there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.”

The next day, the Daily Signal reported, Kersey’s supervisor called to tell him that someone had complained about the message. Take it down, he was told. Jacob refused. For that, he was hauled into a meeting with three superiors, Major Lee Sherrod, Captain Nathan Jentzen, and Police Chief Matt Libby, and ordered to “turn in everything he had that belonged to the city.” While people are entitled to their own views, Libby said, talking about natural marriage is the same as using a racial slur. It’s like “saying the N-word or ‘F— all those homosexuals,’” the chief insisted.

Despite the promise they saw in him as a police officer, the three men agreed Kersey would have to be placed on administrative leave while the city considered whether his job could be salvaged.

A week later, Kersey was given a choice: keep your opinions off social media or turn in your badge. If he wanted to post Scripture, fine. But if he shared anything else that offended someone, he could be fired. Does that sound like “a good step forward for religious freedom” to you? Is that what Todd Young meant when he talked about showing “diverse beliefs proper respect?” Or how Cynthia Lummis (R-Wy.) defines “tolerance?”

A few sleepless nights later, Jacob resigned. “I didn’t believe that my department had my back, and I didn’t really want to go back and play that game and just wait to be fired, because I know it would happen at some point,” he told “Washington Watch” Thursday. “The leadership at that police department claims to be Christian. But I just don’t understand why they would say that an outspoken Christian is the same thing as a racist. It’s just absolutely ludicrous to try to equate me to [someone] who hates people based off the color of their skin, because I believe in God’s design for marriage.”

“I really enjoyed being a police officer,” Kersey admitted. “And that was a huge part of my identity at a young age. And I look forward to doing that for a long time. But, you know, you have to follow when Jesus calls.” As Jacob said, “We really, really have to understand that this isn’t all just a big political game. This is a spiritual battle that’s going on right now. … And Christ is King — and if we’re believers and we really believe that, then we should be fighting for His comprehensive rule overall, especially in our hearts, and we should stand for Him and His word.”

In the meantime, Jacob could lose his whole career because 12 grown senators couldn’t muster the courage he’s shown at 19. He is the fallout they denied, the collateral damage of a decision that will haunt our country for generations. While these men and women hold up their law’s non-existent protections as a shield from criticism, know that very real Americans have no defense. No shelter for the attacks that will come.

When we asked Jacob what he would say to the 51 Republicans who turned their backs on him and millions of other Americans, he grew serious. “My decision to stand up for biblical truth goes back to the Bible in Genesis 3. I see the serpent whispering in the ear of Eve. And Adam, who knows very well what God has said, stood passively by and let sin happen. And I think there are going to be consequences for those who stand idly by and watch the serpent slither around and ignore God. If you’re going to be a Christian, you’re going to have to decide — are you going to be like Adam? And what are the consequences for your action?”

Today, the consequences are exactly what we warned: the Left and those trying to curry favor with the intolerant mob are now empowered with the force of government to crush anyone who lives out their biblical faith. The retort of the 12 Republicans will likely be that the action against Jacob was unlawful, and he would have a good chance of prevailing in court. But why should a 19-year-old have to go to court to defend the teaching of the Bible in order to be a police officer? While it’s true he could win that challenge, the real effect is upon those watching.

“You can see exactly what they’re doing,” Dr. Albert Mohler warned when the votes were imminent. “They’re coming for us.”

And Jacob Kersey is just the beginning.

AUTHOR

Tony Perkins

Tony Perkins is president of Family Research Council and executive editor of The Washington Stand.

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.