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Where Were You Then (if over 50)?

moonlanding

Fifty years ago this week, three brave men aided by the greatest country in the history of mankind were on their way to the greatest human accomplishment in the history of mankind. My question is where were you at that anxious moment when Neil Armstrong proclaimed, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind?” Here is my answer plus more interesting facts about this heroic event.

Coincidentally, on that Wednesday, July 16th, when the Apollo 11 crew of three blasted off, I was flying an Air Force training flight as a student at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma. In the program to become an Air Force pilot, I was as excited about flying jets as the two Air Force pilots and one former Navy pilot were about landing on the moon. I actually remember feeling a kindred spirit with mission commander Neil Armstrong, lunar module pilot Buzz Aldrin, and command module pilot Michael Collins. All three had once been where I was learning to master the challenge and joy of military flying that words can’t express.

Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins lifted off at 9:32 EDT with the understanding that a thousand things could go wrong and with no guarantee of ever returning. Such a complex mission was not without extreme risk. We all learned two moon missions later just how easily things could turn south so unexpectedly when the Apollo 13 crew had to abort their mission due to an on-board explosion and almost didn’t make it back. Two years earlier, there had been the tragedy of the Apollo 1 crew who lost their lives in a prelaunch cabin fire. But this Wednesday, the adrenaline level of the three, knowing over 500 million people were watching, pushed fear aside. At 12:56 pm, in earth orbit, they separated from the Saturn Five booster rocket, rotated their command module (CM) “Columbia”, and docked nose-to-nose with their accompanying lunar excursion module (LEM), dubbed “Eagle” before departing earth’s orbit at 2:13 pm.

For about three days, they watched the moon grow in their windscreen as they sped toward it at speeds up to 25,000 miles per hour. Collins fired the burners to begin circling the moon on Saturday, July 19th at 1:21 pm. On Sunday morning, July 20th, Armstrong and Aldrin entered the LEM and tested all systems. At 3:08 pm, Aldrin fired the burners to separate the LEM from the CM and begin the decent. Thus far, this mission had been much like the two practice missions to the moon weeks earlier. But that was all about to change. This wasn’t a practice low approach in the LEM. This was real!

At 4:18 pm, Armstrong, having had to take manual control of the LEM due to unanticipated terrain issues and guidance computer failure, touched down with a cloud of moon dust on the moon plain called Sea of Tranquility. Armstrong generated a huge sigh of relief heard around the world with the words, “The Eagle has landed.” After about 6 1/2 hours of post-flight checks and well-deserved rest, Neil Armstrong donned his space suit and head gear, opened the LEM hatch, climbed down the ladder, and made that famous footprint as he voiced the proclamation almost everyone knows by memory. It was 10:56 pm on the east coast. Nineteen minutes later, Buzz Aldrin joined his history-making partner for a few minutes of exploration and photo ops. What a moment!

On Monday, July 21st, after about 21 hours on the moon’s surface, the two were back in the LEM, and Aldrin fired the launch rockets at 1:54 pm to blast themselves back into moon orbit. The rendezvous with a welcoming Collins was uneventful as he was more than ready to fly them back home. Splashdown was on Thursday, July 24th, at 12:50 pm 900 miles southwest of Hawaii. Mission accomplished! God bless America!

My wife and I drove from Enid to Oklahoma City on that Sunday to watch the incredible event with a couple who were dear college friends and classmates. I will never forget sitting in front of the TV, the four of us mesmerized by the minute-by-minute playing out of history. As I watched, I fantasized about becoming an astronaut. Maybe I would walk on the moon someday. Maybe mars! I must say this dream wouldn’t have been too far-fetched if America had kept up the momentum of space travel. I have been disappointed that our country has languished with the shuttle program.  Nevertheless, I still often relive in my mind that awesome July 20, 1969, when I was blessed to be part of the generation that put the first men on the moon.

Both Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins are still alive and in relatively good health at age 89 and 88 respectively. All three crew members were born in 1930. Sadly, Neil Armstrong died in 2012.

Please reply with your whereabouts and any other pertinent information regarding your witness of the first moon landing. To my under-50 friends, sorry you missed it.

 

 

Work, Gift, or Theft?

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God created mankind with only three ways to personal gain: work for it, receive it as a gift, or steal it. The first two are moral; the third is immoral. Yet, American society has evolved over resent years toward sanctioning theft through our government programs. Let’s look from a biblical perspective at how our nation may be disregarding God’s economy.

The Bible has much to say about the virtue of labor and the sin of laziness. It also advocates generosity in giving. But it strongly warns against thievery. No scripture sums up these ideals more than Ephesians 4:28: He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.

Physical and mental exertion rewarded by money or in-kind return is the foundation of God’s economy. Most of this return is to be used for life’s necessities and reasonable pleasures. Then, part of that return is to be shared willingly with those who need it for living or for the general good of mankind. According to the Bible, at least ten percent of it is to be freely given to the Lord’s work through the church. Any part of personal gain given up forcibly or unwillingly to others is theft. That may be through direct stealing, fraud, or forced giving. Thieves receive their personal gain not by work or gift, but by taking from others against their will. Work, gift, or theft. There are no other categories of personal gain.

In a perfect world, all needs of those who cannot work would be supplied as a gift by those who are able according to biblical teaching. Because of our greed and insufficient love, Americans and other capitalist societies agree to collectively meet those needs through assistance programs funded by taxes. We who work contribute willingly to the needy through government programs for health care (e.g., Medicaid), basic necessities (e.g., welfare), etc. through a portion of our taxes. Our willingness to contribute this way is expressed by our voting for lawmakers who enact such wealth distribution laws and policies. In Socialist societies, the government controls all work and personal wealth and redistributes the wealth as they deem necessary.

For several decades, America’s provision for the needy by the will of the majority through government taxation has worked reasonably well. The problem in recent years is with the majority of our lawmakers who are not following the will of the voters in their distribution of wealth. When those in charge spend our taxes on others against our will as a whole, we are being robbed–plain and simple. Nearly 60% of Americans oppose making government-provided health insurance available to illegal immigrants, according to a CNN poll released last week. Yet, when 10 Democratic presidential candidates in their last debate were asked for a show of hands of those in favor of such government spending, all 10 hands went up. The same betrayal is evident with government funded abortions as Democrats rally to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

Americans are the most benevolent people on earth. They willingly allow their Congressional representative to distribute some of their tax money to those deemed deserving of it. Those representatives would do well to not steal that tax money for those whom the majority of taxpayers deem undeserving. As you observe what politicians are advocating in their campaigns, put them to the test. Are they proposing to gift or steal your tax dollars?

 

 

 

 

Moms for America Rally for Freedom

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If you are a mom or know a mom who is concerned about the rapid deterioration of America’s freedoms and values that must be preserved for our children and grandchildren, become familiar with Moms for America. They will hold a rally with Gold Star Wives and Mothers at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday, July 4th. On behalf of the sons and daughters who have died for their country, the cry of these moms is, “We are not willing to sacrifice what they gave their lives for.” Let’s look at much more this organization is doing for the future of our children.

MFA is a national non-profit organization rooted in the principles of liberty and virtue upon which our nation was founded, and focused on promoting these principles in the home and family through the women and mothers of America. They are many faces in many places supporting and encouraging each other in the most important work they do–raising and nurturing the future of America. They are creating a national movement of moms to restore the republic, promote the principles of liberty, and reclaim their culture for truth, family, freedom and the U.S. Constitution.

Their “Declaration of Mothers” is as follows:

  • Our Rights come from God not government and the Constitution of the United States was created under the inspiration of Almighty God to secure our inherent rights and the liberty for all people.
  • We recognize the sacred role of mother as the heart of the home and home as the heart of society.
  • Mothers by their divine nature and intrinsic influence determine the future of a nation, mold its citizens, determine its institutions, and shape its destiny.
  • Parents are, first and foremost, the primary teachers and protectors of their children in a free society.
  • We affirm the self-evident truths that all men and women are created equal; endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights which include life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness.
  • Freedom is a rare and prized possession which requires constant care and vigilance for its preservation. Each generation has a responsibility to instill a love of liberty and virtue in the hearts of the next generation.

MFA’s Director of Strategic Initiatives and Gold Star Mom, Karen Vaughn, in a recent national news interview said tKaren Vaughnhat one of her greatest concerns is the determined effort of our nation’s liberal leaders to embrace socialism. Socialism tickles of ears of the young, less mature Americans who don’t understand the consequences of its claims. Karen sees the critical role of moms in nurturing their children in the superiority of democracy and capitalism that made America great.

I believe mothers have been key to the direction of the history of all nations throughout civilization as they have shaped their sons and daughters for the next generation. Mothers of America will, in large measure, determine the principles and values of this nation’s next generation. President Ronald Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Moms, go to https://momsforamerica.us, now and consider becoming a part of this worthy organization. Also, watch for news coverage of the Rally for Freedom event in Washington, D.C. on the Fourth of July.

 

The 2020 Election: Capitalism or Socialism

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For the first time in America’s history, the 2020 election will be a choice between capitalism and socialism as our future way of life. Most voters may think it’s still all about who will be President or the majority party in the House and Senate. But election results will more so determine whether we remain a free-market capitalist society or embrace the failed, oppressive socialist movement with which many Americans seem to be enamored.

Who could have predicted that America would ever be flirting with socialism? Yet, here we are, less than three decades from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union, with millions of citizens being duped by the empty promises of socialist advocates. In a 2016 Gallup poll, 55% of respondents 18 – 29 said they hold a positive view of socialism. A 2017 YouGov poll asked millennials whether they would prefer to live in a capitalist, socialist, fascist, or communist nation, with 44% answering socialist. Nearly one-third of 22-37 year-old Americans responded to a Maru-Blue study by saying their political leaning was toward socialism. None of these polls defined socialism, leaving the question of whether our younger generation understands what socialism really is.

The deception is almost entirely from the Democratic Party. This is the party that once was a legitimate alternative to the GOP in debating labor, social, and economic issues. But they have abandoned these practical advocacies. Now, with openly socialist candidates, the ideological center of the Democratic Party has shifted to the far left in just the last few years. They are sugar-coating the philosophy by calling it “democratic socialism” as if it is just a spin-off of democracy. This has misled the hearts and minds of easily impressionable Americans who haven’t lived through the cold war or studied history seriously.

The tempting fruits of Medicare for all, guaranteed income, and free college tuition seem like heaven on earth. The leftists conveniently disregard the inability of a socialist government to produce prosperity and its reliance on oppression to control economic objectives. They neglect to mention how a socialist government dictates terms of life, education, career choices, family autonomy, travel, associations, and political dialogue. We need to look no further than the ongoing starvation and chaos in Venezuela or the present upheaval in Hong Kong to see clearly the “success” of socialism.

The history of American capitalism is not without faults and missteps, but it is what made this nation the greatest in the history of mankind. We who have observed and experienced the hopelessness of socialism must somehow help others see through its facade. The new generation of voters who have not lived through the threat of an encroaching “evil empire” and who give little attention to modern-day oppressive governments must be convinced that warning about socialism is not a “new McCarthyism.”

Listen carefully to what the 20-plus Democratic presidential candidates are proposing. It doesn’t take a political science major to perceive they are promoting socialism as the new direction for our country. A Democratic-majority congress and/or a Democrat in the White House will swing the door wide open for America’s rush to abandon capitalism. Make the next eighteen months a period of close attention to the voices and actions of our political candidates. Seriously consider what is at stake for you, your children, and your grandchildren.

 

 

Understanding Impeachment

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We’ve all been subjected to the Democrat threats of Trump impeachment, but what is really at stake? The term “impeach” is highly provocative and refers to the first step to unseat a properly elected president. The present effort is taking national divisiveness to a new level with virtually no chance of conviction. Few people really understand impeachment, but all citizens need to. Let’s look at just what it is and what it is not.

Many view impeachment to mean the removal of a president. However, it is just like an indictment in the court system. A president has to be later convicted of the articles of impeachment to be removed. The whole process is codified into law by Article 1 of the Constitution which basically follows the 14th Century British process. It is not a criminal trial process, but rather a determination of fitness for office.

Very serious charges have to be considered by the Congress in order begin an impeachment process. Article 1 specifies “treason, bribery, and other high crimes and misdemeanors” as justification for impeachment. Such infractions of the law would have to be compiled into Articles, or charges, of Impeachment by the House of Representatives. The House would select certain members as prosecutors to make the case before their full body. Then, they would need a simple majority of those voting to impeach, which they would probably have in this Congress (217 out of 433 [currently two vacancies], and they have 235 Democrats). Should they impeach, it would be only an indictment that would then go to the Senate for a conviction decision to remove the president.

The whole body of the Senate would consider the evidence in a court-like trial with the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, as presiding judge. As in the House, a Senate committee of prosecutors would bring the charges. The Senate would then require a two-thirds super-majority vote to convict (67 out of 100). So only 34 Republican votes would be needed to block conviction. The Senate has 53 Republicans. The bottom line is there would be almost zero chance of conviction unless the president were proven to have committed some kind of heinous crime. Most Americans would view the House action as purely political and an abuse of their constitutional responsibility. Democratic representatives would be attempting a last-ditch effort to oust the president because everything else had failed.

In the history of America, no president has ever been removed from office following impeachment. In 1842, an attempt to impeach John Tyler for vetoing a string of tariff bills failed to get a House majority vote. In 1868, Andrew Johnson was impeached for replacing the Secretary of the Navy without Congressional consent, but the Senate fell short of the two-thirds vote for conviction. In 1999, Bill Clinton was impeached in the Monica Lewinsky debacle, but the Senate couldn’t muster even a majority of votes to convict him. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 over the Watergate cover-up before an impending impeachment.

If a president would ever be removed by impeachment and conviction, the vice president would assume the presidency and would select a new vice president. If the vice president were also removed or declined the position, the speaker of the House Pelosi, oh my!, would become president.

There is no provision for a president to appeal an impeachment or conviction. However, removal by impeachment and conviction for a crime is not subject to sentencing. If criminal activity is involved, the president would be subject to entering the criminal justice system afterward for possible arrest, indictment, trial, conviction, and sentencing.

So, what does all the hoopla about impeaching Trump bode for his future? Almost assuredly nothing. Incivility, miscalculations, even lying and sharing of classified information are not impeachable offenses. Even impeachable offenses such as Clinton’s obstruction of justice would not likely result in conviction and removal. Treason, bribery, and high crimes are very high bars to clear. Personally, I don’t believe impeachment of President Trump will ever get past the threat stage, and shouldn’t. Even if the craziness in the House somehow managed to get the President impeached, there is hardly any possibility of conviction in the Senate. Unless something turns up tantamount to treason or murder, the  storm winds of impeachment will have no more effect than a light breeze.

I invite your comments and shares.

Memorial Day Dishonored by Washington Antics

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As a 24-year career veteran, on Memorial Day, I have always honored the Americans who sacrificed their lives in defense of their country. For years, I took pride in the way our nation memorialized those brave heroes. In the last few years, however, my Memorial Day has been clouded by thinking how disappointed these fallen warriors would have been in the antics in Washington that disrespect so much of what they died for. This year, particularly, I am deeply grieved over Washington’s foolishness.

Never in my life have I seen such foolhardiness as is being displayed by Democrats in both houses of Congress. Their objectives for undermining American values over recent decades were abruptly halted by the election of President Trump. Since that election, Democrats have been unhinged, in panic, and delirious from the shock of losing their leftest momentum. I doubt that any conservative expected such a rabid reaction.

Trump’s presidency had every potential of major progress in economic growth, immigration reform, tax reform, infrastructure enhancement, viable healthcare, Social Security resolution, racial reconciliation, balanced international trade, and international peace initiatives. Aside from a few notable victories, these anticipated advances have been stifled by the Democrats through endless accusations and investigations, spying on the administration, intransigence on almost all White House initiatives, and raging opposition to most presidential appointees. Now they are readying for impeachment proceedings with no impeachable offense.

By and large, the Democratic representatives and senators have spent two-and-a-half years spewing hatred, conniving, manipulating the media, obstructing, spying, and aggressively pursuing a four-year campaign cycle for 2020. They are acting as if their whole world were inside the DC beltway with no regard for the American general public. They apparently believe their very survival depends on removing President Trump from office. If it weren’t so damaging to our country, it would be hilarious just watching their comedy act. Everything they try blows up in their face, but instead of cooperating in bilateral efforts, they try some other farcical scheme. In my observation, there has never before been such idiocy on the hill.

So, this Memorial Day, I will do my best to concentrate on the purpose of the solemn day of remembrance. I will try to compartmentalize my thoughts and prayers surrounding those who paid the ultimate price for their country’s freedoms. They died for our freedoms and way of life, not for the insanity in Washington. I will do my best to ignore for one day those in Washington who are making a mockery of our government that those courageous men and women fought under.

Pray for a second term for President Trump and a Republican majority in both houses in 2020. We must stop this madness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Truth About Social Security

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There are so many rumors and so much misinformation about Social Security today. Here is the truth. No, Social Security is not going broke, but it will be out of reserves soon if not modified. Yes, Social Security future benefits will be reduced if something isn’t done. No, your Social Security payments have not been used for other government programs or wars.  Here are some myth busters and warnings you need to know about your Social Security.

In 2018, America’s workers paid in $965 billion into Social Security, and beneficiaries paid $36 billion in income taxes on benefits for a total of about $1 trillion in payments. All this went into the U.S. treasury earmarked for Social Security. The treasury paid out $998 billion in retiree benefits. The other $3 billion went into the Social Security trust fund, or as some call it, the “lock box.” The trust fund also earned $85 billion in interest last year. So, all pay-ins and pay-outs are accounted for. They always have been and always will be. Not a dollar of your hard-earned payroll taxes has been used for anything but to pay qualified beneficiaries. No, illegal immigrants don’t get Social Security. And, yes, Congressmen and Senators pay into Social Security just like the rest of us. But there is reason for great concern for the program.

I recently attended the annual conference for the Association of Mature American Citizens (AMAC) congressional delegates. Serving as an AMAC delegate for Arkansas’s Congressional District 4 has been a joy and an education for me. Congressman Bruce Westerman is a pleasure to work with. One of AMAC’s principal efforts right now is lobbying Washington for its sensible reform plan to keep Social Security solvent for present and future retirees. The program is rapidly approaching the end of its reserves and will soon be on a strictly pay-as-you-go basis. This will reduce benefits by 20% or more.

Social Security was designed in 1935 for contributions to equal withdrawals. That was when life expectancy was 61 years. Most people didn’t live long enough to collect benefits. Each person who lived long enough had many workers paying for his or her benefits. In the 60’s the ratio of contributing workers to retired recipients was around 5 to 1. Today it is close to 2 to 1 and trending lower. The good news is there is about $3 trillion in the Social Security trust fund today. The bad news is it will all be gone by 2034, because there will not be enough workers to support the longer-living retirees. Most retirees now collect more in their lifetime than they have paid in. If we don’t make adjustments, or even if we wait too long to start making adjustments, benefits in 2034 will be limited to what is being paid in–about 21% less than current benefits.

I urge you to get smart on Social Security and put pressure on your Congressman and Senators to have the courage to do the unpopular and reform the program well before reserves are depleted. Congressman Westerman supports the AMAC plan for saving Social Security and believes it is the best plan in Washington. Click here to learn about the plan. Also, if you need personal advice about anything concerning Social Security, ask America’s best and friendliest advisors at ssadvisor@amacfoundation.org. You can also call them at 1-888-750-2622. It’s free, even to non-members. It could save you a lot of money. For instance, they will calculate whether it would be best to begin drawing at age 62 or later based on your individual situation.

If you’re over 50 and not a member of AMAC, you’re missing out. It’s the same price as AARP with the same benefits, but it is a conservative organization. Click here for their website.

Please share this post with your friends and family who have questions about Social Security.

 

 

God in a Bluebird

It takes a lot of faith to be an atheist. One must believe in the impossible. The evidence of God’s omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence in all things great and small is overwhelming. Consider just one of millions of observances that is inexplicable other than through the Creator. I reference the bluebird. Animal instinct cannot have developed through any kind of random evolution theory. That is inherently obvious in the bluebirds nesting in my back yard.

A few years ago, Linda and I ordered one of those little bird houses that sticks on the outside of a window. The bird house has no back wall, so we can observe the nesting and hatching process from inside our house. Each spring, a bluebird couple arrives and begins fluttering around the yard. In just a few days, we start seeing them busily carrying little twigs to the bird house and arranging them neatly into a perfectly crafted nest. Soon, we wake up to a few little blue eggs in the nest. Then, we watch for several days as the plainly feathered mama sits dutifully on the eggs while her brightly feathered hubby brings her periodic helpings of worms and bugs. Mamma leaves her nest only for short periods for water and a little fresh air. Daddy never leaves the back yard, but is constantly foraging for food or just standing guard in a nearby tree.

We celebrate with the proud couple when we peak through the glass to see a few of the eggs cracked open and tiny naked babies appear with beaks open wide. For the next several days, mamma and daddy alternate in bringing the babies worms and bugs pureed in their mouths and deposited in the babies’ wide open begging mouths. Gross, but sweet. We witness the babies grow little feathers until one day we find the nest empty. The parents have released them to the challenging environment of the natural world. Sometimes this process is repeated once or twice over the summer months. All this is exhilarating to observe, but the greatest fascination is in pondering the miracle of it all.

These bluebirds get no education or training in marriage and procreation. They have little or no capacity for logic or deductive reasoning. Everything they do is driven by a mysterious inner “voice” that we humans call animal instinct. Webster defines instinct as, “a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason.” This instinct is what causes certain fouls to go south for the winter, spiders to build artistic and symmetrical webs, ants to engage in intricate construction projects, and water turtles newly hatched on land to crawl immediately toward a distant body of water. It is what compels the bluebirds to prepare an architecturally correct nest to support the babies they somehow know are coming. It makes the mamma sit on eggs for days. And it tells the new parents what and how to feed and water their offspring. It assigns the daddy to be ever-present as protector of his family. It appoints the time to kick the little ones out of the house.

So, what is this enigma called instinct in animals. Author Randy Alcorn suggests that non-human animal instinct is the “soul” God puts in every animal. It is not like the human soul that lives eternally and in which the Holy Spirit dwells. But, like the human soul, God’s Spirit indwells the soul of animals to direct them above their level of consciousness. How else could animals do these supernatural things? Humans are created in the image of God to posses logic and reason which guide our actions in coordination with Him. We humans don’t need, and therefore don’t possess, animal instinct. The Spirit of God in us works through our heart, mind, and spirit to guide us on a much higher plain than that through which He guides animals. There is absolutely no other explanation for what drives natural animal behaviors other than through the power of God instilled in every animal of His creation.

So, when I watch my bluebird family, I am enjoying a worship experience of seeing the undeniable hand of Almighty God. It is everywhere!

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:18-20.

Don’t Miss the Movie, “Unplanned”

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The movie, Unplanned, opens in theaters this Friday, March 29th. As many of you know, it is a true story that boldly confronts every viewer with the raw realities of abortion. It is a rallying point for staunch pro-lifers and a call to action for those on the fence who have never taken up the mantel against abortion. If you’re not a movie goer, be one for this.

The movie is about Abby Johnson who had aborted two babies and was passionate about helping other women through the abortion process. She became the youngest Planned Parenthood clinic director in the nation and oversaw 22,000 abortions. She lobbied for legislation fostering women’s right to choose, the cause she so deeply believed in. Then, one day as she was assisting in an abortion of a 13-week-old baby, she surprisingly became overwhelmed with guilt and walked out. Since leaving, she has convinced nearly 500 former abortion workers, including seven doctors, to leave the abortion industry. She joined her former enemies at “40 Days for Life” and has become one of the most ardent pro-life speakers in America.

Abby Johnson is played by Ashley Bratcher (War Room). Other prominent stars include Robia Scott (CSI), Emma Elle Roberts (Hunger Games), Kaiser Johnson (Sleepy Hollow), and Jared Lotz (Thanksgiving). After Ashley Bratcher began filming the movie, her mother confessed to her that she almost aborted Ashley, deciding against it after she was already in the clinic prepped for the abortion. “I was shocked,” Bratcher said. “But, that means I was born for this role.”

The movie is written, produced, and directed by Cary Solomon and Chuck Konzelman (God’s Not Dead, God’s Not Dead 2, Do You Believe) and produced by Daryl Lefever (I Can Only Imagine). With this star line-up and the successful producer and directer, I believe it will be an under-the-radar box office smash like I Can Only Imagine which caught the industry totally off guard. It will certainly cause many Americans to rethink their position on abortion.

A caution: it is rated R. It has no nudity, no foul language, no gratuitous sex, nothing that usually warrants the exclusion of children under 17 without parents. The Motion Picture Association of America, the rater of movies, claims the movie shows some “disturbing images.” Well, yeah. Abortions are definitely disturbing, so the rating actually advocates for pro-life. Motion picture industry conservatives (a rare find) have described the rating decision as purely political and seeking to scare away some in the Christian community.

Unplanned can be seen in many theaters. However, as expected, some theaters have chosen to not show it because of its controversial subject matter. These theaters will just stay with blatant sex, murder by the minute, incessant foul mouth, horror, and satanic obsession–you know, entertainment that has redeeming value. In my town of Hot Springs, Arkansas, Unplanned is not on the schedule in either of the two theaters. It is playing in Little Rock and other nearby cities. However, I have contacted one of the local theaters, Behind the Mall Cinema, and they said they could offer it on short notice if enough interest was shown. I urge anyone and everyone around Hot Springs to contact Behind the Mall Cinema (cinema8@cswnet.com) and tell them that, if they show it, you will come. Everyone whose favorite theater is not showing the movie should hold them accountable for making it a part of next weekend’s line up. This movie could literally save many lives. Please share this post.

 

 

The Threat of the Equality Act

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With celebrity crimes, Democrat primary candidates, the wall, and the weather dominating the media, the looming Equality Act is probably far off your radar. This misguided and toxic proposed legislation, especially from the perspective of conservative Christians, will be introduced in Congress within the next few weeks. Here is why it is bad policy and would establish a dangerous precedent.

The Equality Act, as introduced and defeated in both 2015 and 2017, would expand the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to ban discrimination on the basis of sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Well, who could be against equality? Truthfully, the seemingly positive title, “Equality Act,” is everything but positive for those who believe in biblical sexuality. The Act includes areas of education, public accommodation, employment, and federal funding, but is much further reaching than those areas imply.

Certainly, Christians reject all forms of discrimination for all persons created in God’s image including those who identify as LGBT. All people are worthy of our love, respect, and fair treatment. However, this act would codify and essentially guarantee equal access for LGBT persons to all venues in our schools, work places, public facilities, and, yes, churches (think bathrooms, dressing rooms, sports participation, etc.). The 1964 Act guarantees equal access to all races which is clearly advocated in the scriptures. The 2019 Act would provide the same access for homosexuals and transgender people which is certainly not the intent of God as indicated in the Bible. God created male and female with certain natural functions, roles, and helpful partnerships for fulfilled lives. He instituted marriage for a man and a woman. He made it perfectly clear that these relationships were not to be corrupted. The Equality Act would blur if not ignore these principles.

The act would almost surely lead to criminal prosecution of religious leaders and other Christian who speak or write in opposition to homosexuality, transgender, or gay marriage. The courts, in deference to the act, would not likely distinguish between illegal discrimination based on sexual orientation and objection to the LGBT lifestyle, although the distinction is obvious. A restaurant owner refusing to serve a biological male dressed in drag is discrimination; my writing a blog post criticizing that person’s lifestyle is not. The Equality Act’s sweeping impact on religious liberty, free speech, and freedom of conscience would be historic.

Schools, businesses, and all other institutions would likely have to mandate training and programs that would teach LGBT lifestyle acceptance. The law would force a cultural change to sexuality in practice having no core ethical limits other than consent, and to male and female definitions being psychologically based rather than biologically based.

The 2015 bill had the financial support of three corporations–Apple, Dow Chemical, and Levi Strauss. Today, the 2019 proposed bill has 161 corporate sponsors with a combined annual revenue of $3.7 trillion. Obviously, the lobbying efforts of this one will be brutal with unprecedented momentum and funding. The 161 supporting companies include the social media giants of Twitter, Google, and Facebook, so posts in strong opposition to the bill may be taken down. I anticipate television and all other media outlets being bombarded with ads promoting the act. If you show active opposition to the Act, you will be demonized. But it will be the right thing to do.

I urge all those concerned about the Equality Act to be alert for its introduction in Congress and prepared to oppose it aggressively in every area of influence you have at your disposal.

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