1) Alabama Church Burnings May Have Much in Common with Church Burnings in India 2) Kelo Strikes Again... 3) Boots on the Ground - A Report from D.C. on Stopping Activist Judges
Each week's edition of this Report brings new evidence of the radical left assault on people of faith and our shared vaules. We need your financial support to keep up our work in Washington and across the country.
The War on Christians and the Values Voter in 2006
Vision America presents an important conference in our nation's capitol with featured speakers including:
Senator Sam Brownback, Senator John Cornyn, Congressman Tom DeLay, Congressman Todd Akin, Congressman Louis Gohmert, Rod Parsley, Ron Luce, Gary Bauer, Alan Keyes, Phyllis Schlafly, Laurence White, and Janet Folger
You will also enjoy challenging panel discussions, prime accommodations, special packages, legislative briefings, and more.
Two breaking stories are extremely relevant to our upcoming War on Christians Conference in Washington, DC, March 27 and 28 at Omni Shoreham Hotel and underscore why Christian Pastors must be mobilized and their congregations engaged in the ongoing culture wars.
Alabama Church Burnings May Have Much in Common with Church Burnings in India
The first story concerns the nine churches that were torched in Alabama. It seems each day brings more light to the subject. This week we learned that the three torchers were not just three more college kids out to seek a thrill, albeit ever so tragic to the Alabama church families that loved their rural churches and the memories that were treasured there. Now we are discovering that that one or more of the men were in fact known to delve into the occult and particularly Satan worship.
Suddenly it all makes sense. They started the fires at the altar and the foot of the pulpits where each week God's men stood and unveiled God's Word to God's people. Satan rebelled against God in eternity past, leading a third of the Heavenly hosts in an uprising to overthrow Him, only to be cast down to earth. (See Revelation 12) While he did not succeed in overthrowing God, he is still seeking to lead men and angels in his rebellion. No one who understands that believers are engaged in a spiritual struggle with eternal consequences is surprised when those who worship Satan turn their devilish deeds against those who follow God.
On a broader scale, many who practice the more radical forms of Islam are turning their venom on Christians around the world, and few are willing to call that persecution what it is. If Islam is a religion of peace, as we are often told, why are more of its leaders not speaking out against their extremist followers who are killing innocent men and women around then world in the name of Allah? In India, Bangladesh, the Sudan, and around the world, churches are being destroyed by Muslims, and followers of Christ are being murdered or carried away into slavery, for the simple crime of being Christian. There is a war against Christianity raging and you cannot win the war until first you face it honestly.
In America, Moslems, Jews, atheists and others are allowed to pursue their religious beliefs freely without fear, and rightfully so. But in the Arab world, far too often you can be arrested or worse, lose your life, for the crime of carrying a Bible openly or discussing your Christian views publicly. Our soldiers are shedding their blood in Iraq to secure the freedom of differing Moslem sects to pursue their faith freely. However, they cannot themselves, openly express their Christian faith while there. What's wrong with this picture?
Already, in parts of Europe, the Muslim faith is replacing the Christian faith as the most visible and openly practiced religion. Christianity will win when we are allowed to compare what we believe with what other religions believe, but when silence - or a worse penalty - is imposed, everyone loses.
Kelo Strikes Again...
There is more than one way to destroy a Church.
Armed with the power of the United States Supreme Court, a municipal government in Long Beach, California, seized a church property this week. The crime of the church? Apparently their legal tax-exemption as a place of worship. This action comes as no surprise to those of us who read and understood the Kelo decision.
Across America, some of the most valuable property is owned by small congregations that had the foresight and faith to build their church facilities there years ago. These congregations possess no political clout and limited financial resources, but they have invested their lives in serving their respective communities.
Now, they find themselves being displaced by the will of politicos who have little or no interest in the worth of the Spiritual investments these church people have made. For many, all they care about is the fact that a condominium complex pays taxes, but churches do not. Armed with the twisted and unconstitutional ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court, municipal governments can now condemn any church they choose.
If Congress does not address this injustice by taking back that which the courts have stolen, the God who owns these properties, may decide to render His verdict in this case.
Thousands of citizens have joined our effort to call Congress to action on this and other grave matters regarding the tyranny of out-of-control courts. Please go to http://www.visionamerica.org/ and link to Values Voter Contract with Congress and sign our petition to address these injustices. The time to act is now.
Boots on the Ground - A Report from D.C. on Stopping Activist Judges
I am in Washington, D.C. this week with Vision America's legal counsel and we are meeting with other pro-family leaders as well as leaders of Congress - and I must tell you that I am greatly, greatly encouraged.
Clearly, as you consider the problems listed above, we have many challenges facing this nation and have much reason to continue to pray. However, we should also be encouraged and we are called to be thankful people. Often, we need to step back and thank God for His goodness and His faithfulness. I can honestly say that this trip to Washington, D.C. has greatly encouraged me - and I want to pass that encouragement along to you.
I believe that the Courts are heading in the right direction and I believe that Congress is heading in the right direction. The Courts are not only undergoing a physical transformation (the grounds of the Court are being updated) but the Court is undergoing what I perceive to be an ideological transformation.
Ideologically, the Court has had the obvious addition of two new justices - Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito - but there is more afoot. Even liberals like Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and NPR reporter Nina Totenberg admit that there is something new in the rulings and the spirit of the Supreme Court. In fact, Totenberg was quoted as warning liberals that it will be worse than they imagined and predicting that for conservatives it will be better than they had imagined. I believe that Totenberg may be right.
It has been our prayer that the Court - all of the justices and all of the staffers - would rise up and take back the true Constitutional mantle of our Judiciary - that is to decide cases according to the law as established by the People and their elected representatives and to refuse to engage in the dishonest practice of legislating from the bench. I believe that our prayers are being answered in this regard - but now is the time to pray like never before so that we can seal this victory and not let our progress slip away.
I believe that Congress is making steady progress toward keeping the Courts accountable. Confidentiality prohibits me from sharing all that I would like to share about these meetings - but suffice it to say that leaders, as well as the rank and file members in the House and Senate are growing in their understanding of the problem of judicial activism and in the role of Congress in keeping those Courts accountable.
I have long preached that in remedying the problem of judicial activism we need a two prong approach: appointments and accountability. We need to appoint constitutional judges to positions of authority that will decide cases and not legislate from the bench. However, we also must keep all of our judges accountable. The founders did not create our system of "checks and balances" to function with regard to just two branches of our government - leaving the third branch unaccountable.
Congress is growing in its understanding of this point and is taking unprecedented steps to keep the Courts accountable and bring judicial renewal this year. Please pray for this renewal and please take action by signing our Values Voters' Contract with Congress which is focused on remedying judicial activism. You can sign the Contract by going to http://www.visionamerica.org/ and clicking on the "Values Voters" link.