Richard Norton Smith's outstanding new biography of Nelson Rockefeller does not directly focus much on the religious beliefs of the wealthy scion and long-time presidential aspirant. But there are enough tidbits to imply that he was a Social Gospel Christian, very much the product of his family's targeted philanthropy and devotion to liberal Protestantism.
The grandson of America's first billionaire, Rockefeller was born into a pious Baptist home where liquor, smoking and profanity were prohibited, family prayers were a daily ritual, and the Sabbath always sacred. His grandfather, John Sr., the builder of an oil empire, was a conventional but not very theologically minded Baptist. His father, John Jr., the heir and only son, was devout but committed to modernizing Christianity under the guidance of experts he would fund. His counsel for philanthropy was Raymond Fosdick, a backslidden Baptist who championed cautiously progressive causes. Fosdick was brother to the great liberal preacher Harry Emerson, a zealous foe of "fundamentalism" who had survived a Presbyterian heresy trial.
John Jr. so admired Rev. Fosdick that he funded his tracts and built a cathedral for him on New York's upper West side, Riverside Church, where Protestantism and modernity were merged together by Fosdick's sermons and the church's progressive iconography. The church was and is next door to Union Seminary, once Baptist, and long an academy of liberal Protestantism, also supported by the Rockefellers. In the same neighborhood in the late 1950s the Rockefellers also built the soaring Interchurch Center as headquarters for liberal Protestant denominational and ecumenical agencies. more >>
Everyone knows that the American people don't trust Congress. But this week in the Senate we saw why distrust of Washington is at an all-time high and why it matters.
All eyes were on the Senate this week. With some of the most important – and controversial – provisions of the Patriot Act set to expire at the end of the month, the American people expected to see the Senate debating and deliberating the future of our nation's intelligence apparatus.
Last week the House of Representatives took up the issue and passed the USA Freedom Act with a sweeping bipartisan majority. This week, it was the Senate's turn to act. more >>
Conservatives say "you can be somebody." Liberals say "you should hate somebody." The latter mentality is exactly what we've seen played out in Ferguson and Baltimore. Black riots, dead cops at the hands of black youths, thugs memorialized as heroes and our First Lady who's grown up privileged, gives a speech at Tuskegee University in front of more privileged blacks as if she just dried off after being hosed down by Democrat Bull Connor. Give me a break! Students who are inheriting a post-civil rights America have been conditioned to believe they're getting a pre-civil rights America thanks to our first black president and First Lady.
In 2008 millions of whites cast their ballot for then Senator Obama, hoping to eliminate racism in America. At the least, they purposed to convince the world they weren't racist and assauge their "white privilege," as taught to them by their liberal professors. In 2016 some of those same voters may stay home, disillusioned that race relations have worsened despite their efforts. Many Americans have grown weary of being penalized over skin color, and I'm not talking about blacks.
Consider the "Bradley effect"– coined after Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley lost his 1982 mayoral race despite being ahead in the polls leading up to the election. For fear of retribution from the politically correct media, white voters told pollsters they were either voting for the black candidate or undecided. As always, the ballot box was honest. They didn't re-elect Tom Bradley! They lied! In hindsight, a presidential candidate that overplays the race card in 2016 outside of predominantly black districts could surge in the polls just to lose the election by disenfranchising white constituents. more >>
Use your sanctified imagination to envision the following make-believe scenario.
Joel Osteen… Andy Stanley…Joyce Meyer...Ed Young Jr. ... Dave Ramsey... James Robison...Ken Copeland...Pat Robertson...Matt Crouch and other high-profile Christian leaders all begin their programs with an agreed-upon in- advance, sober warning to their collective millions of listeners.
"The following message is completely uncharacteristic of our normal broadcast. But we are not living in normal times. We can't keep pretending God's judgments aren't real. What's happening currently can't be dismissed as coincidental but providential. We have come to the conclusion that God has directed leaders across this nation to simply communicate eight words: '40 more days and America will be destroyed.' That's what He instructed us to say. But there still is hope if we believe that God will have mercy on us if we humbly turn back to Him and the ways of our Founding Fathers." more >>
"We have forgotten God, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own." Abraham Lincoln
Over the last few decades, Americans have seen the destruction of the institution of marriage between a man and a woman, the removal of God's Word in several areas, and the aborting of millions of babies. Ironically, many of the men and women who died for our freedoms did not die for what we are becoming today. Many gave their lives in order that we would be "one nation under God," not above God.
A Fifth Division graveyard sign in Iwo Jima, Japan, states it well: more >>
A new Pew Research Center poll shows that America is unhappy with the GOP led Congress. In fact, Americans are disgusted as Republican congressional leaders only registered a 22% overall approval rating.
What is especially significant is that the poll shows this anger is bi-partisan. Only 41% of Republicans approve of the performance of the GOP congressional leadership. This is much lower than the 60% approval rating GOP leaders received in 2011 and the 78% approval rating they received from Republicans in 1995, months after the party took control of Congress for the first time in 40 years.
There is a major difference between the congressional leaders of today and those at the helm in 1995. During that era, Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House. In the November 1994 elections, Americans sent Republicans to Congress with a mission, enact the Contract with America. Led by Gingrich, the Congress was actually able to get some tangible goals accomplished by moving then President Bill Clinton to the right. As a result, Clinton signed into law bills that lowered capital gains taxes and established welfare reform. Even more miraculous, a significant budget surplus was created. more >>