I am disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision to change the definition of the institution of marriage for the entire United States. A major aspect of my disappointment is that the Court did not let the people decide at the state level. Instead, the Supreme Court has imposed its decision about this issue on the entire nation, in one fell swoop. I am concerned for the rights of the people to vote on a critical issue like this. Many people in my circle of influence wonder if this ruling will lead to the abridging of our most basic constitutional rights, such as the right to live by personal conviction and the free exercise of religion.
I cannot help but remember waiting for the Court to make a similarly important decision in January 2011. During that month the Associated Press wrote "The Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from opponents of same-sex marriage who want to overturn the District of Columbia's gay marriage law … turning away a challenge from a Maryland pastor (Harry Jackson) and others who are trying to get a measure on the ballot to allow Washingtonians to vote on a measure that defines marriage as between a man and a woman."
I felt that both judges and politicians had failed the citizens of the District of Columbia, not allowing us to make the decision about this important policy issue. Today the Supreme Court failed the 50 million Americans who had the opportunity to vote for marriage and had cast their vote for marriage as one man and one woman. more >>
South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, a GOP presidential candidate, has said that radical Islam is "running wild" in the Middle East, and shared his fears of a terror attack on U.S. soil.
"Radical Islam is running wild in the Mid-East," Graham reportedly told New York's AM 970 on Sunday. "I have never been more worried about an attack on our homeland than I am right now."
He added that President Barack Obama "doesn't know what he's doing," and accused the administration of making the wrong decisions in Iraq and Syria. more >>
As Greeks voted overwhelmingly to reject Europe's latest bailout offer with severe austerity as a condition, the country's atheist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras called it a "victory of democracy." The Eurogroup chief, on the other hand, expressed concern, saying the result is "very regrettable for the future of Greece."
The final result for Sunday's referendum shows that 61.31 percent voted "no" and 38.69 percent voted "yes," local newspapers reported.
This sets Greece on an uncertain path, as the nation could now be headed for a worse economic disaster and even loss of its place in the euro. more >>
Kelly Shackelford's debate with Evan Wolfson on Fox News Sunday highlights the battle lines for religious liberty in America now that the Supreme Court has grossly overstepped its authority by declaring same sex marriage a constitutional right. The issue is whether religious liberty extends to how you earn your living, get an education, and run a business.
For years to come, the fight for many Christians will be on whether their right to the free exercise of religion includes the right to earn a paycheck without violating their conscience. Televised debates need to focus on the fierce debate over whether your religious-belief rights carry over into your daily life. The Constitution does not force Christians to choose between being able to put food on the table versus being faithful to their cherished beliefs.
The day after the Supreme Court's infamous 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, Shackelford and I published an op-ed in Investor's Business Daily, showcasing the discussion on what that court decision will mean for tens of millions of observant Christians. more >>
Christians should never stop doing evangelism or forget about the transformative power of the Holy Spirit as they engage the culture; those who oppose the Church today could be its leaders tomorrow, Russell Moore wrote in his new book, Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel.
In part one of his July 1 phone interview with The Christian Post, Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, pointed out that the Church can thrive, as it always has, in a culture that identifies it as "not normal."
In this part two of the interview, Moore explains why, whenever he feels himself growing discouraged about the future, he reminds himself, "the next Billy Graham might be drunk right now." more >>
A week ago the Supreme Court turned down an appeal from former Republican Congressman Rick Renzi, who began serving a three-year prison term in February. In 2006, a left-leaning U.S. Attorney in Arizona saw an opportunity to take out the popular, charismatic conservative Congressman by going after him over a confusing and complicated land deal. Renzi was an easy target because the facts were so complex there was little chance the general public would figure out how the law was being manipulated to selectively target him. This type of targeting has become a common pattern by the left; similar tactics were used against former House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, former U.S. Senator Ted Stevens, former Congressman Bob MacDonnell and a district attorney in Texas. Representing a swing district, once Renzi's credibility was destroyed, it became easy to turn the seat over to a Democrat.
Renzi was found guilty on 17 counts of using his office for personal financial gain and taking $400,000 in corporate money from his family insurance business to fund his campaign. He was convicted of proposing a land swap deal in Congress to benefit a man who owed him money, so the man could afford to pay him back. It is true that he suggested The Aries Group purchase an alfalfa farm near Sierra Vista owned by James Sandlin, and he proposed legislation-swapping out the land for copper-rich land owned by the federal government. The sale went through at fair market value, shortly after Sandlin paid Renzi $733,000. Sandlin was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
However, the government never provided any evidence that The Aries Group's purchase of the property provided Sandlin with the money to pay Renzi back. The land swap legislation never went into effect. In fact, Sandlin paid off the debt in September 2005 with a loan he had taken out for $900,000. He did not receive the money from The Aries Group until October 2005, a month after he had repaid the debt, which he put into escrow. Additionally, he had multiple properties he could have sold to repay the debt. He had been making regular payments on the debt since it originated over a handshake in 2003, and there was no indication whatsoever that he was going to discontinue payments. Perhaps most importantly, Renzi would not have received any benefit from the land swap. The land swap was simply not related to the debt. more >>