Does anxiety over what some fundamentalists believe is the coming "biblical apocalypse" motivate Republicans to vote for a particular candidate? According to a recent op-ed published in the New York Times, the answer is yes. The author of the piece, Matthew Avery Sutton, is an associate professor of history at Washington State University and is the author of Aimee Semple McPherson and the Resurrection of Christian America. In his article, Sutton claims that a “small but vocal minority” of Republicans associate the recent economic crises, the rise of “radical Islam,” and diverse natural disasters with the “last days” of the earth and as such they are searching for the candidate they believe will lead them safely through this eschatological maelstrom.
How does religion, particularly the branch of Christianity called “fundamentalism,” influence presidential politics? According to Sutton:
Christian apocalypticism has a long and varied history. Its most prevalent modern incarnation took shape a century ago, among the vast network of preachers, evangelists, Bible-college professors and publishers who established the fundamentalist movement. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Pentecostals and independents, they shared a commitment to returning the Christian faith to its “fundamentals.”
A Louisiana woman suffering from cystic fibrosis is being hailed throughout the world for her decision to deliver three healthy triplets, rather than abort them as doctors had advised her. Identical triplets Dakota, Savannah, and Brooklyn recently celebrated their first birthday because their mother, 21-year-old Kandace Smith, refused to “terminate” them as she was counseled by her doctors, who told her “she was too small and weak to bear even one child, much less triplets,” reported Beliefnet.com.
Cystic fibrosis is a serious hereditary disorder that affects the lungs, making it difficult to breathe and often leading to early death. Smith was told that she would likely never be able to have children. “I couldn’t believe that I was actually pregnant,” she recalled to the British newspaper the Daily Mail, “and when the scan showed there were three heartbeats I nearly passed out. I didn’t actually believe it was possible — and there were three babies in my womb.”
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and other House leaders paid tribute to Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) on September 22, despite the fact that he was overwhelmingly censured by the House less than a year ago for ethics violations and has a history of courtship with Soviet and Communist subversive activities.
In December 2010, when the House was controlled by the Democratic majority of the 111th Congress, Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly voted 333-79 to censure Congressman Rangel with regard to unpaid taxes on property he owned in the Dominican Republican, other hidden assets, and for improper use of the his campaign office to raise funds for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York — all of which are clear violations of House rules.
Congressional leaders, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Senator Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and Speaker of the House John Boehner still felt it prudent to honor the former head of the Ways and Means Committee with a special reception and the unveiling of a portrait in the Longworth House Office Building.
An aged Roman Catholic priest who offered objective moral truth to his parishioners has been relieved of his office. Bishop Valery Vienneau of the Diocese of Bathurst, in New Brunswick, Canada, removed Eudist Father Donat Gionet from his ministry because he gave sermons about homosexuals, abortion, and fornication, clearly enunciating Roman Catholic teaching on the subjects.
Nervous church authorities, under pressure from “the community,” cashiered Gionet because he was not “sensitive” enough in articulating the faith.
So because of the “community,” Gionet says he must now celebrate Mass in secret.
Stop the Sin
Gionet’s trouble arose, LifeSiteNews.com reported, from his homilies in August, during which he denounced three of the key issues facing the Catholic church: abortion, fornication, and homosexuality. Even worse, he did so on the weekend of the local "pride" march. “Pride” is a word homosexuals use to describe their festivals and other public gatherings.
It became official three days ago. The military ended its ban on homosexuals serving “openly,” meaning members of the armed forces may speak openly about what Lord Alfred Douglas referred to as the "Love That Dare Not Speak Its Name."
Homosexuals have now conquered the target-rich environment the military is for them, and the Marines, the most macho and gung-ho of the services, seem to have taken the mission to integrate homosexuals as seriously as the landing at Peleliu in 1944.
Marine recruiters, the New York Times reported, landed at a “gay community center” seeking recruits. In Tulsa, Oklahoma (home of Oral Roberts University), of all places.
The Times reported that the Marine foray into foreign territory is the Devil-Dog way of trying to be best at something:
In yet another example of liberal intolerance, big companies across the nation are being targeted by those on the Left for their affiliations with Christian groups that are opposed to gay marriage.
The Blaze explains: "Massive retailers like Apple, Microsoft, Netflix and Wal-Mart have a relationship with an Internet marketer called the Charity Giveback Group (CGBG). When CGBG brings customers to retailers’ web sites, the marketer gets commission for the sales that are made. This, of course, is a common occurrence in the e-commerce world.... A portion of the commission that retailers pay out is donated to the buyers’ charity of choice. On the list of potential recipients are Christian organizations like the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family — groups that oppose gay marriage."
The New York Times reports further: "The national battle was ignited in July by Stuart Wilber, a 73-year-old gay man in Seattle. He was astonished, he said, when he learned that people who bought Microsoft products through a Christian-oriented Internet marketer known as Charity Giveback Group, or CGBG, could channel a donation to evangelical organizations that call homosexual behavior a threat to the moral and social fabric."
Concerned that their group’s name may sound too “regional” for effective outreach throughout the U.S., officials of the 166-year-old Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) have announced a task force assigned to study the possibility of changing the name of the 16.16-million member evangelical Christian denomination, the nation’s largest. “Starting a church in New York, or Boston, or Minneapolis, or Cheyenne, Wyoming, it’s really a barrier to a lot of folks in even considering that church or that ministry,” SBC President Bryan Wright told Christianity Today. “When they hear Southern Baptist, it’s a regional perception there. The reason this task force has been set up to study a possible name change is [firstly] to consider a name that is not so geographically limiting, and secondly to help us be better prepared for reaching North America for Christ in the 21st century.”
It is not the first time the SBC has looked into changing its distinctive label. “Motions to study a name change have been presented to the convention on numerous occasions,” reported the SBC’s own Baptist Press News, “for example, 1965, 1974, 1983, 1989, 1990, and 1998.” Additionally, a proposed “straw poll” to consider a name change was defeated at the SBC’s annual meeting in 1999, and an effort in 2004 to put a study in motion was also shot down.
Nearly all the pundits and attorneys are calling Jaycee Lee Dugard’s federal lawsuit a “long shot.” Ms. Dugard, who was abducted with a “stun gun” on her way to school at age 11, then raped and tortured in a shed for 18 years by a federally paroled sex offender with the help of his also-released inmate wife, sued the federal government September 22, citing “gross neglect.”
Even though the Dugard family received a $20-million settlement in 2009 through the California’s Victims’ Compensation Fund, Jaycee Dugard wants to send a message to federal officials and parole agents who “failed on numerous occasions to properly monitor” Phillip Garrido, her captor, a criminal with a history of drug abuse and violence dating back to 1976, when he abducted a woman from the Tahoe area and took her across state lines to Reno, Nevada, and raped her.
Any proceeds from the lawsuit, says Dugard, will go to her private charity, the JAYC Foundation, which assists families recovering from abduction and other trauma. She has quite enough money now, after all. It’s her childhood she can’t recover — and the welfare of two children conceived in rape, whom she still nurtures.
Activists protesting Utah's opposition to same-sex "marriage" (and other statutes dealing with moral issues) have found an effective way to garner public attention: stripping down to their underwear and running through the streets of Salt Lake City. Nate Porter, who planned the so-called Undie Run, said the goal of the event was to organize those frustrated by what he dubbed "uptight" laws in Utah.
He continued, "My goal is to change Utah. To make this state lighten up once and for all. I’m trying to draw people in that are jaded by [the state's] politics.”
According to the Undie Run website, residents of Utah are boring and uptight, and it is the job of the protesters to change that. The site states,
We want each group of friends to come with there [sic] own specific demands written all over your body/undies/signs. Be creative. Get your friends to come with matching undies and help protest for your particular issues. Help us get the message out that Utah needs to lighten up. The Beauty of this event is that it's for you [to] decide. If you check the comments below you will see many voicing there [sic] opinions in many areas that Utah needs to simply lighten up on.
The Michigan legislature facilitated a huge pro-life victory September 21 when the state Senate voted 29-8 to ban late-term, “partial-birth” abortions. That vote followed an earlier 75-33 vote in the state House to approve the measure, which now heads to the desk of Republican Governor Rick Snyder for his expected signature.
A partial-birth abortion entails having an abortionist partially deliver a viable baby, and then kill the child before he or she completely emerges from the womb — making the procedure, by legal reasoning, an abortion rather than a homicide. The ban would make the procedure a felony punishable by a two-year prison term and a $50,000 fine.
Republican Senator Arlan Meekhof, one of the bill’s sponsors, called partial-birth abortion “a barbaric act that we need to stop. I’m proud to sponsor this measure because I believe every life is precious.