Tim Wildmon – http://www.afa.net
Thursday, December 05, 2013 – See more at: http://www.onenewsnow.com/perspectives/tim-wildmon/2013/12/05/to-those-who-say-there-is-no-war-on-christmas#sthash.Eefk3Brh.dpuf
Christmas is the most notable day on the calendar where the general American public is reminded of the life of Jesus Christ. That is why some want to do away with it.
Someone sent me an article from USA Today, which has this headline: “Not all Christians believe there is a ‘War on Christmas.’” The article quotes Christian leaders and authors saying they disagree with those of us who believe there is a war on Christmas. I could give a litany of examples of exactly how the war on Christmas has manifested itself the last decade or so. From nativity scenes no longer being allowed on the courthouse square, to schools changing Christmas break to “winter” break, from Christmas parades being changed to “winter” parades, to children being told they can no longer sing carols during their “winter” program, etc., etc. There is an intentional effort by some secularists to purge the word ‘Christmas’ from our culture. Whether it will be successful or not remains to be seen. But it’s discouraging to see some fellow Christians say – “Who cares?”
The very word itself – “Christmas” – is a reminder that this particular holiday is the celebration of Jesus Christ. Those who promote political correctness and extreme multiculturalism resent this because it is exclusionary in their view. Some Christians are willing to go along with that line of thinking. For example, USA Today quoted Dan Scott, senior pastor of Christ Church in Nashville, who said this: “We really need a way to treat the public square as the public square and private realms as private realms and not feel demonized because we come from a different perspective.” In other words, Christians should keep Christmas in our homes and churches – the “private realms” – but we can’t expect the general public to be accepting of Christmas any longer because it promotes Christianity.
Christmas is the exaltation of one particular religion that makes a claim of being the only true religion and that is unacceptable to the movers and shakers of contemporary American popular culture, elitist academia, and many in the mainstream media, news, and entertainment. Therefore, Christmas must be replaced with words and ideas that are broad and general so as to knock Christmas from its traditional place in America’s public life. It is an attempt to define Christianity as no more important to the history and fabric of America than is, say, Hinduism. This is what these people (often called secular progressives) believe, and evidently a number of Christians agree with that position. Subsequently these Christians find more fault with their fellow believers – those of us who want to keep Christ in Christmas and Christmas in America – than they do with those who want to eradicate Christmas.
This is why it concerns me when I read stories like the one in USA Today. One of the people quoted in the article is Christian author Rachel Held Evans, best known for her book, A Year of Biblical Womanhood. Evans wrote a blog that went viral where she challenges the idea of a war on Christmas with these questions: “Did someone threaten your life, safety, civil liberties or right to worship?” No. “Did someone wish you happy holidays?” Yes. “You are not being persecuted.”
What Evans has done here is very clever. She framed the issue falsely. She set up a straw man. No one is arguing that Christians are being persecuted physically. What we are saying is Christianity itself is under siege in America. Just ask the Christian bakery owners in Washington state, the Christian florist in Colorado, or the Christian photographer in New Mexico who were all fined by their state governments because they would not participate in homosexual “weddings.” But what Evans has done is like the man who cheats on his wife and she confronts him about it. It might go something like this:
“I know you are cheating on me. What do you have to say for yourself?” the wife says. To which the husband responds: “There are children dying in sweatshops in Third World countries, and you are talking to me about my having sex a couple of times with some woman? Are you serious?”
See how this works? The “logic” is: If your life is not being threatened or your family is not in physical danger or your church is not being padlocked, then we have no cause to point out the war of Christmas. It’s much ado about nothing, say these Christian brothers.
The war on Christmas is really part of the larger war on Christianity and it concerns me that smart people like Rev. Scott and Evans don’t seem to get that.
Then there was the quote from Daniel Darling, vice president of communications for the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. The article said this about his position: “He (Darling) said on Friday that some media outlets are overstating the war on Christmas debate, and very few Christians actually engage in it. ‘We advise people that, rather than trying to force that weary Wal-Mart worker to say ‘Merry Christmas’ against company policy, how about we be the bearers of joy. Instead of taking offense, say, ‘Here’s the story, we’re the joyful ones. We’re the ones that have the greatest story.’”
Darling, like Evans, has created a false caricature of his fellow Christians who want to keep Christmas alive in the public square. The image Darling creates is one of a Christian bully. Who does this browbeating of store employees? No one I know. (By the way, Wal-Mart does not forbid its employees from wishing customers a “Merry Christmas.”) What American Family Association and some other groups do is produce a Naughty & Nice list of companies that do or don’t allow Christmas in their stores. Due to the efforts of AFA, many household name corporations have put Christmas back in their promotions, advertisements, and stores over the last few years. The Gap was the latest store to write AFA about how they were doing this. This is a good thing. Christians should applaud Gap and others when they refuse to yield to political correctness and recognize that if not for the Christmas gift-buying season, many of them would not be in business.
All of this Christians criticizing other Christians, often based on false information as demonstrated here, seems to be a trend. I’m not sure why this is, but I have a couple of theories. First, we Bible-believing Christians have been so maligned and lied about by the media, particularly the entertainment and news media, that the negative stereotype that has been created has stuck. And now even we are quick to believe the worst about our fellow brothers and sisters. The second reason is what I call the “nicer than Jesus” mentality. It is human nature to want to be liked and avoid confrontation. Christian activism, while it should always be carried out with civility and manners, is sometimes by necessity confrontational – and confrontation is not considered “nice” by some. But Jesus himself said in Matthew 5:10: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is talking here about a public stand for biblical righteousness, not just being a Christian. The world doesn’t care if you are Christian … as long as you don’t talk about what’s right and wrong, moral and immoral, or good and evil. That’s when the persecution comes.
Is there a war on Christmas? Yes. Is it part of a larger war on Christianity? Yes. Does this matter to the future of our country? Most certainly.
Just because Christians are not being physically persecuted in America today doesn’t mean these matters are not important. Not only is Christianity good for the individual, the moral value system that comes from Christianity is also good for society at large. God help us get it back before it’s too late.
The U.S. government has just passed a new law entitled “The Affordable CAR Act” declaring that every citizen MUST purchase a new car by April, 2014.
These ‘affordable’ cars will cost an average of $54,000-$155,000 each. This does not include taxes, tags, registration, fuel, maintenance, or repair costs.
This law has been passed because, until now, typically only wealthy and financially responsible people have been able to purchase cars. This new law ensures that every American can now have an ‘affordable’ car of their own, because everyone is ‘entitled’ to a new car. If you purchase your car before the end of the year, you will receive four ‘free’ tires (does not include mounting).
In order to make sure everyone purchases an ‘affordable car,’ the cost of owning a car will increase on average of 250-400% per year. This way, wealthy people will pay more for something that other people don’t want or can’t afford to maintain. But, to be fair, people who can’t afford to maintain their car will be regularly fined and children (under the age of 26) can use their parents car(s) to drive until they turn 27, after which date they must purchase their own car.
If you already have a car, you can keep yours (not really). If you don’t want or don’t need a car, you are required to buy one anyhow. If you refuse to buy one or can’t afford one, you will be regularly fined $800 until you purchase one, or face imprisonment. If you cannot (or don’t want to) purchase an ‘affordable car’ from a private business, you can buy a starter car from the U. S. government ‘affordable car exchange.’ Such a car will have the basic necessities and will only cost ‘slightly more’ than a similar car purchased from a private business. Plus, since your tax dollars will subsidize the purchase of a car from the U. S. government’s ‘affordable car exchange,’ it will appear that you are getting a good deal.
Failure to use the car will also result in fines. People living in areas with no access to roads are not exempt. Pre-existing conditions such as age, motion sickness, experience, knowledge, nor lack of desire are not acceptable excuses for not using your car.
A government review board will decide everything, including when, where, how often, and for what purposes you can use your car, along with how many people can ride in your car. The board will also determine if one is too old or healthy enough to be able to use their car, and will also decide if your car has out lived its usefulness or if you must purchase specific accessories like spinning rims or a newer and more expensive car.
Those that can afford luxury cars will be required to do so … it’s only fair. The government will also decide the color for each car. Failure to comply with these rules will result in fines and possible imprisonment.
Government officials are exempt from this new law. If they want a car, they and their families can obtain cars free at the expense of tax payers. This includes lifetime maintenance and automatic adjustments for fuel charges.
Unions, bankers, and mega companies with large political affiliations ($$$), Muslims and Amish are also exempt.
When social policy experts create a new intervention to solve some social problem or make people's lives better, there's two possible outcomes they're expecting: either the intervention works, or it doesn't. But what we forget is that there's a third option - that our well-meaning intervention actually makes people's lives worse.
This isn't just an idle fear. Shockingly, this seems to be true of the biggest randomised controlled trial of an intervention that has ever been conducted in the UK (and with…
This video, Wealth Inequality in America is painful to watch because it makes me realize that the thinking behind it is far too prevalent in our society today. Also equally painful is that many who come across it and see these ideas perhaps for the first time are probably going to buy into it, and actually believe that we should adopt a socialist form of government. Very sad.
I disagree with the whole premise of this video. This study assumes a false premise that all of America’s wealth is nothing but a huge horde of cash, a huge pile of wealth that everyone is sitting on and that this pile of wealth is distributed very unequally, therefore we should all adopt socialism so that this pile of wealth will be distributed equitably. Wonderful socialism that includes, in the name of fairness and angelic, pure intentions; so therefore we are going to break into private homes and businesses and seize parts of their giant horde of the people that are in the upper 20% and then help distribute it among the lower classes, and then your benevolent government will only skim a portion of these seizures to pay for expenses of course (and maybe just a little more…wink, wink)–but I digress. The socialist people that created this video wrongly believe that economics is a zero sum game; that if one American or group of Americans succeed in acquiring more wealth that means that someone else or some other group of Americans are losing their wealth. But this line of thinking is truly a foolish way to think about how economic distribution works.
If you take for example the “Parable of the Bags of Gold” (or the “Parable of the Talents” but the NIV says “Bags of Gold”). Read Matt 25:14-30. http://www.bible.com/bible/111/mat.25.14-30.niv (click on a blank area on the side of that web page) This study in this video above assumes that every person in America acts like that third servant and just buries and sits on what they have and that therefore the upper 20% or upper 1% acquired their horde unjustly. But this study does not take into account how economics truly works or how free enterprise or the capitalist system works. America’s wealth hinges on the actions of the 1st and 2nd servants in the parable. America’s wealth is dynamic and in a constant state of flux through investments and the buying and selling of goods and services and especially through creativity and the innovations that constantly improve those goods and services. The constant drive to make a better mousetrap so to speak. Steve Jobs used to say, regarding his and Apple’s constant creativity and innovations, “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them.”
But if you try and equal things out as the makers of the video suggest, if you try and apply socialism even in just little bits, history has shown many times that that takes away the drive to make a better mousetrap, it takes away innovation and creativity and therefore it also ultimately takes away the wealth. The very thing that you wanted to distribute equally in the first place. If a socialist system is adopted it puts everyone in equal misery and equal poverty and we will not only lose the upper 20% or upper 1% but instead we will create a small fraction of a fraction of 1% that will end up as the ruling class and the only ones that have any kind of wealth and power. And this wealth and power of the ruling class is truly gained on the backs of the poor, what socialists wrongly tell you that all wealth is. Ultimately if we lose the top 1% shown in the video then we truly lose the most innovative and most creative among us, we lose people like Henry Ford, Sam McLaughlin, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and even people like Earl Bakken. Earl is the guy that founded Medtronic where I work. Oh and incidentally if it weren’t for the innovations of Earl Bakken and his company Medtronic not only would many tens of thousands of people like me not have a means to provide for our families but also many lives would have been much shorter on this earth, among their loved ones due to the lack of Earl’s and Medtronic’s medical breakthroughs. But unfortunately many people just see Earl as some rich fat cat living it up in Hawaii.
The makers of this video above should have ultimately been with me and my family last Sunday morning as there was a great sermon at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Joe Rigney, author of Live Like A Narnian (more info on him here: http://bethlehemcollegeandseminary.org/index.php/academics/faculty/joseph-rigney) preached a great sermon titled “Winning the War Against Envy and Rivalry” When that sermon is available online I may post it on my blog, it was that good. I truly think that when socialists decry the injustice of economics I think that this is all due to the dangerous sin of envy on their part, and all the sins that go along with envy (You would know what I am talking about if you were to just listen to that sermon. That was a great sermon, by the way, among many things we learned the subtle yet important differences between jealousy, covetousness and envy–but I digress again).
We all also must realize that everything ultimately is not our own. Everything we have is on loan from the Master, the God of the universe. An important lesson from the Parable of the Bags of Gold and other parables, namely the “Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard,” and also many other passages in the Bible (see other parts of Matthew about the Widow’s Offering or the passage about not letting you left hand know what your right one is doing), anyway one important lesson is that we must not worry about who has what, or how much that person has or how little I have or how much more that person earns and in general how unfair life is. Everyone must realize that in real life, just like in the parables that the Master is coming back soon and each of us must give an account of what we did with our horde, our time and resources, lets not waste our lives, or our horde, in the envy of others.
***P.S. Here is that really good sermon I mention above: Part 1: http://willemdax.tumblr.com/post/67307834951/winning-the-war-against-envy-and-rivalry ***
***P.P.S. Here is Part 2: http://willemdax.tumblr.com/post/67596474565/learning-to-love-the-dance-of-grace-this-is ***
****P.P.P.S. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KENaWXPmBr0 <—This video is a direct response to Wealth Inequality in America video above.
Below is an excerpt from Ken Ham’s organization, Answers In Genesis.org. This is a great read! It is among some of their foundation statements or more accurately as is stated by AIG it is among their “Getting Started” articles. Bible believers and evolutionist are all studying the same evidence it is just a matter of interpretations or, even more fundamental to that, it is a matter of presuppositions or axioms. Also, all of us must learn “…how to think rather than just what to think…”
Creation: “Where’s The Proof?”
By Ken Ham, president, AiG–U.S.December 1, 1999
Over the years, many people have challenged me with a question like:
I’ve been trying to witness to my friends. They say they don’t believe the Bible and aren’t interested in the stuff in it. They want real proof that there’s a God who created, and then they’ll listen to my claims about Christianity. What proof can I give them without mentioning the Bible so they’ll start to listen to me?
Briefly, my response is as follows.
Creationists and evolutionists, Christians and non-Christians all have the same evidence—the same facts. Think about it: we all have the same earth, the same fossil layers, the same animals and plants, the same stars—the facts are all the same.
The difference is in the way we all interpret the facts. And why do we interpret facts differently? Because we start with different presuppositions. These are things that are assumed to be true, without being able to prove them. These then become the basis for other conclusions. All reasoning is based on presuppositions (also called axioms). This becomes especially relevant when dealing with past events.
Past and Present
We all exist in the present—and the facts all exist in the present. When one is trying to understand how the evidence came about (Where did the animals come from? How did the fossil layers form? etc.), what we are actually trying to do is to connect the past to the present.
However, if we weren’t there in the past to observe events, how can we know what happened so we can explain the present? It would be great to have a time machine so we could know for sure about past events.
Christians of course claim they do, in a sense, have a “time machine.” They have a book called the Bible which claims to be the Word of God who has always been there, and has revealed to us the major events of the past about which we need to know.
On the basis of these events (Creation, Fall, Flood, Babel, etc.), we have a set of presuppositions to build a way of thinking which enables us to interpret the evidence of the present.
Evolutionists have certain beliefs about the past/present that they presuppose, e.g. no God (or at least none who performed acts of special creation), so they build a different way of thinking to interpret the evidence of the present.
Thus, when Christians and non-Christians argue about the evidence, in reality they are arguing about their interpretations based on their presuppositions.
That’s why the argument often turns into something like:
“Can’t you see what I’m talking about?”
“No, I can’t. Don’t you see how wrong you are?”
“No, I’m not wrong. It’s obvious that I’m right.”
“No, it’s not obvious.” And so on.
These two people are arguing about the same evidence, but they are looking at the evidence through different glasses.
It’s not until these two people recognize the argument is really about the presuppositions they have to start with, that they will begin to deal with the foundational reasons for their different beliefs. A person will not interpret the evidence differently until they put on a different set of glasses—which means to change one’s presuppositions.
I’ve found that a Christian who understands these things can actually put on the evolutionist’s glasses (without accepting the presuppositions as true) and understand how they look at evidence. However, for a number of reasons, including spiritual ones, a non-Christian usually can’t put on the Christian’s glasses—unless they recognize the presuppositional nature of the battle and are thus beginning to question their own presuppositions.
It is of course sometimes possible that just by presenting “evidence,” you can convince a person that a particular scientific argument for creation makes sense “on the facts.” But usually, if that person then hears a different interpretation of the same evidence that seems better than yours, that person will swing away from your argument, thinking they have found “stronger facts.”
However, if you had helped the person to understand this issue of presuppositions, then they will be better able to recognize this for what it is—a different interpretation based on differing presuppositions—i.e. starting beliefs.
As a teacher, I found that whenever I taught the students what I thought were the “facts” for creation, then their other teacher would just reinterpret the facts. The students would then come back to me saying, “Well sir, you need to try again.”
However, when I learned to teach my students how we interpret facts, and how interpretations are based on our presuppositions, then when the other teacher tried to reinterpret the facts, the students would challenge the teacher’s basic assumptions. Then it wasn’t the students who came back to me, but the other teacher! This teacher was upset with me because the students wouldn’t accept her interpretation of the evidence and challenged the very basis of her thinking.
What was happening was that I had learned to teach the students how to think rather than justwhat to think. What a difference that made to my class! I have been overjoyed to find, sometimes decades later, some of those students telling me how they became active, solid Christians as a result.
If one agrees to a discussion without using the Bible as some people insist, then they have set the terms of the debate…
I know that here in America we are currently in the throes of debate on Government-run health care, but I think this study on Daylight savings time should cause us to learn a lesson in all this. That lesson that should be learned is that anytime you have a government or if you have any governing bodies forcing the masses to behave in a certain way or forcing the masses to buy into a certain mindset, you can guarantee that it will be a huge waste of energy, time and effort and especially a huge waste of money. And overall, it will leave any thinking, sane person to scratch his head and say “Why are we doing this?!? This is stupid!!” Just some thoughts as we all fall back this weekend…
Daylight Saving Wastes Energy, Study Says
By JUSTIN LAHART of The Wall Street Jounal
For decades, conventional wisdom has held that daylight-saving time, which begins March 9, reduces energy use. But a unique situation in Indiana provides evidence challenging that view: Springing forward may actually waste energy.
Up until two years ago, only 15 of Indiana’s 92 counties set their clocks an hour ahead in the spring and an hour back in the fall. The rest stayed on standard time all year, in part because farmers resisted the prospect of having to work an extra hour in the morning dark. But many residents came to hate falling in and out of sync with businesses and residents in neighboring states and prevailed upon the Indiana Legislature to put the entire state on daylight-saving time beginning in the spring of 2006.
Research on the impact of extending daylight-saving time across Indiana found:
- Residential electricity usage increased between 1% and 4%, amounting to $8.6 million a year.
- Social costs from increased emissions were estimated at between $1.6 million and $5.3 million per year.
- Possible social benefits — enhanced public health and safety and economic growth — were not studied.
Indiana’s change of heart gave University of California-Santa Barbara economics professor Matthew Kotchen and Ph.D. student Laura Grant a unique way to see how the time shift affects energy use. Using more than seven million monthly meter readings from Duke Energy Corp.DUK +1.12% , covering nearly all the households in southern Indiana for three years, they were able to compare energy consumption before and after counties began observing daylight-saving time. Readings from counties that had already adopted daylight-saving time provided a control group that helped them to adjust for changes in weather from one year to the next.
Their finding: Having the entire state switch to daylight-saving time each year, rather than stay on standard time, costs Indiana households an additional $8.6 million in electricity bills. They conclude that the reduced cost of lighting in afternoons during daylight-saving time is more than offset by the higher air-conditioning costs on hot afternoons and increased heating costs on cool mornings.
“I’ve never had a paper with such a clear and unambiguous finding as this,” says Mr. Kotchen, who presented the paper at a National Bureau of Economic Research conference this month.
A 2007 study by economists Hendrik Wolff and Ryan Kellogg of the temporary extension of daylight-saving in two Australian territories for the 2000 Summer Olympics also suggested the clock change increases energy use.
That isn’t what Benjamin Franklin would have expected. In 1784, he observed what an “immense sum! that the city of Paris might save every year, by the economy of using sunshine instead of candles.” (Mr. Franklin didn’t propose setting clocks forward, instead he satirically suggested levying a tax on window shutters, ringing church bells at sunrise and, if that didn’t work, firing cannons down the street in order to rouse Parisians out of their beds earlier.)…