Sunday, August 26, 2012

The 3 - August 26, 2012

On this week's edition of "The 3", there was a lot of interest in the new game show based on knowledge of the Bible, and initial indications are that it made a significant impact.   Also, as Republicans face uncertainty about the weather in Tampa and a cancellation of the first night's activities, the proposed party platform has some clarity on life and marriage.  And, a major evangelistic event in Southern California over the weekend included those attending live, people watching on the Internet, and churches gathering to experience the event remotely.

3 -"The American Bible Challenge" brings largest GSN audience ever

This past Thursday, the greatly anticipated game show, "The American Bible Challenge" premiered on GSN, formerly known as the Game Show Network.   The show features teams of 3 people who answer Bible questions, playing for their favorite charities.   After a nationwide screening, 18 teams were chosen to be part of the first season.   The program is hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy, who has game show experience with, "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?", and who is a Christian who speaks about his faith.

Thursday night, the premiere yielded GSN's highest viewership in its 17-year history, according to entertainment website   It brought in 1.7 million total viewers, easily besting the previous high of 1.2 for a 2003 documentary called, "Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal".

The show's executive producers are Michael Davies, who was executive producer of "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire", and Tom Forman, creator of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition".  Consultant producers are Nick Stuart and Maura Dunbar of Odyssey Networks. 

Maura Dunbar visited with me on The Meeting House just prior to the premiere:
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 "The American Bible Challenge" airs Thursdays at 7pm Central on GSN.

2 - Party platform affirms sanctity of life, marriage

As Republicans from across the country have been making their way to Tampa, some slower than others due to Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac, the party platform committee met last week to decide on how the expressions of the core values of the party would be represented at the convention.  As a number of pro-life, pro-family leaders appeared in Tampa last week, respective committees met and made some bold decisions.

One was to include a strong pro-life plank.   According to CitizenLink, if Republicans adopt the draft platform, the party will endorse an amendment to the U.S. Constitution making it clear that preborn children have “a fundamental individual right to life which cannot be infringed.”  The language included a call for the end of legalized abortion except in cases of danger to the mother's life.  Other planks include opposition to federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, support for the use of ultrasounds and full disclosure about fetal development before abortions, and support for state-enforced abortion clinic regulations.

Also, CitizenLink reports that the Republican platform will continue to uphold traditional marriage, despite two attempts to add language that would weaken it.   One proposal involved replacing the plank endorsing marriage as the union of one man and one woman with language advocating civil unions for both same-sex and heterosexual couples.  Another amendment would have added support for same-sex civil unions to the party’s support for the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman.  Both proposals were defeated.   On the Democratic side, it is likely that delegates will approve at their convention in Charlotte, for the first time, a platform plank that would favor legalization of same-sex marriage. 
The proposed Republican party platform will go to the entire convention for approval.

Here's a conversation about the party platforms for The Meeting House, with Stuart Shepard, Senior Director of Media for CitizenLink (an affiliate of Focus on the Family).   During the first part of the interview, he gives analysis of the movie featuring Dinesh D'Souza, "2016:  Obama's America", which finished 8th at the box office during the weekend, according to preliminary estimates:
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1 -  Harvest Crusade one of America's largest evangelistic events

Greg Laurie, pastor of California's Harvest Christian Fellowship and featured speaker for the annual evangelistic event known as the Harvest Crusades, is the architect behind the most recent crusade, spanning 2 days, at Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California.

According to a report in The Christian Post, the Saturday sermon would address the topic of "How to Find Personal Happiness".  The title of the Sunday message was planned to be titled, "Is It Possible to Change Our Lives?".  Sunday's Harvest America was scheduled to be shown live by webcast and, through the use of other technology, transmitted to more than 1,800 host venues (about 1,000 are churches).  The event on Sunday was also set to be broadcast on two Christian TV stations and more than 500 Christian radio stations.   Musical artists over the weekend included David Crowder, Gungor, Third Day, Jeremy Camp, and MercyMe.

The Post reported that Pastor Levi Lusko, host of the Harvest events, had blogged, "In addition to these sites it will be going out to hundreds of thousands through webcasts and live radio coverage (and television)...This could potentially be the largest evangelistic event to ever occur in the history of the United States of America!"

Laurie's crusades have attracted thousands to the large venues in the Los Angeles area over the years, and the leveraging of Internet and other technology to bring the event into multiple homes and churches means a wide audience for that Sunday event.  And, as you combine the effective preaching of Greg Laurie and the power of God's word, that makes for a fabulous harvest of souls for the kingdom of God.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The 3 - August 19, 2012

In this week's edition of "The 3", we focus on two events relative to the state of Florida - first up, the Jacksonville City Council making a bold decision regarding special rights based on sexual orientation.  Then, an appeals court decision has kept the 10 Commandments monument in Cross City in place for a while longer.  And, the top story is the tragic event at the Family Research Council in Washington where lives were saved by a brave security guard.  The incident has brought about a discussion of the nature of policy disagreements.

3 - Jacksonville city council rejects sexual orientation ordinance

By an overwhelming margin this past week, the Jacksonville (FL) City Council defeated an ordinance that would have created a new protected class and special rights based on "gender identity or expression".  The measure would have created a way for gay-identified citizens and others who felt they were being treated unfairly to bring lawsuits against private citizens.   This would have applied to places of employments, as well as housing or public accommodations.   The final vote on the original bill was 17-2, after a substitute bill failed by a narrow 10-9 margin.

John Stemberger, President and General Counsel of the Florida Family Policy Council said, "This is an extraordinary victory for the people of Jacksonville who rose up and made it clear they were not going to allow some secret council of elite powerbrokers or activists from outside Jacksonville to force extreme policies upon them...I could not be more proud of the local residents who worked so hard to create a citywide movement to defeat this disaster of an ordinance.”

Anytime a major city or a state legislature takes up a piece of legislation dealing with gender identity or sexual orientation, you know that they are considering actions that would likely be offensive to people of faith who oppose same-sex marriage or special rights for homosexuals.  This type of ordinance could have opened the door to all sorts of legal action and a furtherance of the gay agenda.   And, as we are seeing, there are individuals and groups that are wanting to force acceptance of their lifestyle upon culture, overriding the moral objections of many people.  Unfortunately, you have a small, outspoken percentage who would like to make their sexual preference more than a private matter, to influence public policy in a manner that conflicts with the deeply held traditional values of a significant portion of society.

2 - Dixie County, Florida 10 Commandments display upheld in court

A 6-ton granite monument of the 10 Commandments, which provides a basis for moral law in our nation, stands in Dixie County, Florida, which is located just south of the Big Bend area of the state.  A few years ago, an ACLU member from North Carolina, who has never lived nor owned property in Dixie County, filed suit against the county, saying that the monument offended him.  Last summer, a Federal judge ruled that the monument had to be removed from the front of the courthouse, in the county seat of Cross City.  (wonder if anyone is offended by that town's name?)

This week, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the ACLU, and ordered the case back to the district level.  Apparently, the central issue here is not the constitutionality of the display, but the standing of the plaintiff, about which one of the appeals court judges, Judge Edmondson said: (the) “plaintiff’s theory of standing is makeshift in nature: some kind of cursory, drive-by theory of standing—insufficient to kick on our powers.”   The issue of "standing" concerns a person or entity's legitimate connection to the case.

According to Liberty Counsel, the plaintiff, referred to as "Mr. Doe", first testified that several things about the county bothered him, including the monument, a cartoon taped near a county employee’s desk, and a reference to a website known as “Patriot Properties.”  After the county moved for summary judgment on the basis of a lack of standing, Mr. Doe filed an affidavit in which he claimed that it was only the monument that offended him.

Liberty Counsel Attorney Horatio “Harry” Mihet said, “The citizens of Dixie County won today. To them and to people across America, the Ten Commandments has become a symbol of the rule of law, not an establishment of religion. The monument reflects the essence and foundation of American law.”

1 - Shooting at FRC ignites discussion on the atmosphere of debating policy

Referring to the events of Wednesday, August 15th, Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, said:
On Wednesday, FRC was the target of what the FBI is calling an act of domestic terrorism. A gunman, identified as Floyd Corkins, invaded our headquarters in Washington, D.C. armed with a 9mm pistol, approximately 50 rounds of ammunition, and 15 Chick-fil-A sandwiches. The gunman was confronted by an unarmed member of the FRC staff, Leo Johnson. When the gunman pulled the gun from his backpack and aimed the weapon at Leo, Leo moved toward the gunman to disarm him. Despite being shot in the process, Leo was able to subdue the shooter and call for others on the staff, who helped admirably. One of the investigators, based on their preliminary findings, told me Leo's actions saved a lot of lives.
New information seems to be coming out all the time regarding this case.  Corkins apparently did say that he opposed the FRC's policies.  He worked at a gay and lesbian center in the nation's capital.  And, reports say that he had the name and address of another pro-family organization, the Traditional Values Coalition, in his possession.

It's one lone gunman here, who made some really errant choices.   Tony used this series of events to call attention to an atmosphere that is generated   Because FRC, Chick-Fil-A, TVC, and countless other groups representing thousands and thousands of Americans dare to show support for traditional marriage, they have been mis-characterized...FRC as a "hate group" by other organizations, Chick-Fil-A's product as "hate chicken" by the mayor of Washington, DC or a product that "Tastes Like Hate" by vandal in California.

The shooting this week has ignited a discourse on labeling, or name-calling.   Family Research Council has been bold to point out some of the fallacies that are being furthered by those who embrace the gay agenda.  They, and so many other groups, present opinions based on research - on facts.  There are other groups that disagree with their interpretation of the facts - that's fair.   But, what is unfair, is that FRC and others become the victims of name-calling, i.e. "hate group", as a result of their presentation.   Let me read from FRC's website:

Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed.  It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects. 
Strong language, for sure.  Hate speech, hardly.   Notice that the statement deals with "conduct".  To me, the Bible is clear about the definition of marriage and the unnatural nature of homosexual activity - not my opinion, but God's.  And, let's be honest, He is for all of us - he is not "anti-" any person.   He does hate sin, and in that sense He is "anti-sin", but that does not make Him or His people hateful by nature.   He loves us and wants the very best for each individual.   Homosexuality is not part of His plan, but that does not exclude any of us from forming friendships with members of the gay community so that they can experience God's true love through us.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The 3 - August 12, 2012

On this edition of "The 3", my week-in-review feature, we take a look at a controversy over a book by a well-known Christian author and historian, who has discovered that his publisher has ceased to publish his latest work.  Also, the selection of Paul Ryan as Republican Vice-President candidate has brought some positive statements from some Christian and conservative leaders.   And, in the top slot, some encouraging news out of Missouri, where voters sought to strengthen the rights of religious expression of its citizens.

3 - Barton's book on Jefferson pulled from shelves

It is quite unusual when a Christian book, especially one that is written by someone who is generally well-regarded in Christian circles, is pulled from the shelves, but that is essentially what happened this past week regarding the latest book, a best-seller, from David Barton of WallBuilders, who is a historian who writes and speaks about the rich Christian heritage of our country.

However, there are some Christian authors and professors who take issue with the information presented in the book, The Jefferson Lies.  Based on the thousands of documents that Barton possesses, he has crafted a portrait of the main author of the Declaration of Independence and the third U.S. President that shows Jefferson as more in line with mainstream Christianity than many have thought.  WORLD Magazine published an article by Baylor faculty member Dr. Thomas Kidd recently, in which Kidd outlines some of the criticism.   He quotes Jay Richards of the Discovery Institute, who commissioned 10 professors to examine the body of Barton's work:
Glenn Moots of Northwood University wrote that Barton in The Jefferson Lies is so eager to portray Jefferson as sympathetic to Christianity that he misses or omits obvious signs that Jefferson stood outside "orthodox, creedal, confessional Christianity." A second professor, Glenn Sunshine of Central Connecticut State University, said that Barton's characterization of Jefferson's religious views is "unsupportable." A third, Gregg Frazer of The Master's College, evaluated Barton's video America's Godly Heritage and found many of its factual claims dubious, such as a statement that "52 of the 55 delegates at the Constitutional Convention were 'orthodox, evangelical Christians.'" Barton told me he found that number in M.E. Bradford's A Worthy Company.
Barton has been endorsed by Glenn Beck, who wrote the forward to the Jefferson book, as well as evangelical and political leaders such as Mike Huckabee, Michele Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich.   One of the interesting engagements involves 2 professors at Grove City College, Warren Throckmorton and Michael Coulter, who argue that Barton "is guilty of taking statements and actions out of context and simplifying historical circumstances."   On his website, David Barton says that Throckmorton and Coulter's book typifies attacks by "academic elitists" who position themselves as the "sole caretakers of historical knowledge."  He contends that Throckmorton and Coulter are hostile toward his "personal religious beliefs." Barton also disputes several of their specific arguments.

This week, it was announced that Thomas Nelson, the publisher of the book, has ceased its publication.   According to another article by Dr. Kidd in WORLD, the company began to evaluate the criticism, and a spokesman said, "in the course of our review learned that there were some historical details included in the book that were not adequately supported. Because of these deficiencies we decided that it was in the best interest of our readers to stop the publication and distribution.”

There are a lot of issues here.  I am a bit uncomfortable, in the spirit of Matthew 18, of Christians airing their disagreements in public.  But, reviews of various works are commonplace, and can be instructive for believers.  I also thought about the Rob Bell controversy over his book, Love Wins - many were outspoken about the theological questions that were raised by this book, but...its publisher, HarperCollins, which now owns Thomas Nelson, never pulled it.  I really don't know why, but one has to wonder where the theological and historical line will be drawn in the future when you have a secular company that is calling the shots over Christian books.

I like David Barton; I've had him on my radio show, and do not believe he's been disgraced or defrocked.   He has documentation to support his caricature of Jefferson - some may feel he is off-base in his treatment, they have the right to call his contentions into question.  But, he has been published, he has an excellent reputation in evangelical Christian circles, so are his rights to free speech being limited here?  And, I believe that Thomas Kidd, who has been a guest on the show, has been even-handed, reporting the controversy, quoting Barton and his critics, and attempting to present a balanced overview.

But, we are dealing with events over two centuries ago - Barton has examined the evidence and come to a well-reasoned conclusion.   Other have taken their documentation about Jefferson and come to some different conclusions.   That's just part of the game in the analysis of history.  

2 - Christian and conservative leaders applaud Paul Ryan pick for VP

Just prior to the end of the Olympic Games, presumptive Republican nominee for President Mitt Romney could be said to have won the gold medal in his pick for his Vice-Presidential running mate, Representative Paul Ryan, the Chairman of the House Budget Committee, whose budget plan was entitled, The Path to Prosperity.  He has been lauded by many for his willingness to take on some of the tough issues concerning reining in Federal spending, and has faced criticism because of what he has indicated should be reduced.   He is one of the leading voices for reforming entitlements, the cost of which place a real drain on the government's budget.  So, it was no surprise that Republicans, including a number of Christian and conservative leaders, were energized by the selection, and Democrats who support the President were energized in a way, as well, voicing their opposition to Ryan's proposals.

Here is a sampling of support for Ryan, as reported by Politico:

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA List:  "A longtime pro-life advocate and a strong fiscal conservative, Congressman Ryan has insisted that there can be no ‘truce’ when it comes to advancing the rights of the unborn and achieving fiscal responsibility."

Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America:  "Paul Ryan is an energetic and solid social conservative. He has tirelessly supported the unborn and voted in favor of a federal marriage amendment. In addition, he showed great courage and willingness to make the hard decisions needed to clean our fiscal house by actually putting pen to paper and advancing a plan."

Former Senator and Presidential candidate Rick Santorum:  "In addition to Congressman Ryan's stellar fiscal conservative positions, he is indeed a full-spectrum conservative.  He is solidly pro-life, pro-family, and will be an advocate for our military and our national security priorities."

It's no surprise that many are criticizing Paul Ryan - and in an election where jobs and the economy will be center stage, Ryan offers a clear plan to addressing the fiscal issues that our government is facing.  But, it gives an opportunity for Romney's opponents to continue to challenge him on what will be reduced or cut as a result of these economic proposals.  

1 - Missouri voters approve Constitutional Amendment on prayer

Elections in various states over the summer could prove to be indicators of the mood of the electorate in November.  The recall election in Wisconsin, the Republican primaries in Indiana and Texas, and what happened in Kansas this week are just some examples of elections where conservatives with appeal to the Tea Party movement and presumably evangelical Christians were victorious.  In Kansas, the powerful head of a Senate committee who had been instrumental in blocking legislation that would restrict abortion was brought down by a pro-life challenger.   A total of 8 incumbents faced defeat there - which I think is a manifestation of what polling data is indicating:  people think the country is heading in the wrong direction, so their frustrations could be taken out on incumbents.

And, the so-called social issues will continue to be influential in voters making their selection.   It is becoming apparent that religious freedom will be a talking point in the campaign on many levels, including the top race, where Governor Romney has just released a campaign ad criticizing the President for the contraception mandate in the health care plan, against the wishes of religious employers.  Candidates who oppose the health care law will no doubt be using various elements of it against opponents who may have supported or sympathized with it.

In Missouri, voters in the "Show-Me State" voted their values, showing their collective position on prayer and a perceived incursion on religious liberties.   According to CitizenLink, voters in that state approved a constitutional amendment Tuesday, expanding the state’s foundational document to include new sections regarding prayer and other religious issues.

Amendment 2 ensures that Missouri schoolchildren have to right to initiate prayer and voluntarily acknowledge God in the classroom, and requires all public schools to display the Bill of Rights on campus. It also states the government will not infringe on Missouri residents’ free exercise of religion.

Some of the provisions of the measures include:
  • Individuals’ and groups’ right to pray in private or public places are preserved, as long as the prayer does not disturb the peace or disrupt a meeting;
  • It allows students to refuse to take part in assignments or presentations that violate their religious beliefs;
  • It protects the right to pray on government property; and
  • Allows legislative bodies to sponsor prayers and invocations.
This is an attempt to reinforce laws regarding freedom of religious expression and to clearly state that these constitutional rights are protected.   It's a great indicator of the value that voters in that state, and other states, place on expressing their deeply-held religious views.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The 3 - August 5, 2012

This week, as I write this week-in-review feature, I am saddened by the reports out of Wisconsin concerning the incident at a Sikh temple, where at least 7 are dead, including a man who reportedly entered the house of worship and opened fire.  It is concerning that in a nation where we are free to worship and very rarely think about security in our sanctuaries, that you have someone that brings fear and death into a church building.   My top 3 stories form the previous week include the severing of a years-long financial relationship between a group supporting, even promoting, contraception outside of marriage and a group claiming to represent evangelical Christians.  Also, a Congressional vote this week indicated where a number of lawmakers stand regarding abortion and protecting life.   And, the top story - the record-setting turnout at Chick-Fil-A restaurants across America to show appreciation for their Biblical values and their president's support of traditional marriage.

3 - NAE announces no more plans to receive dollars from organization promoting contraception

The National Association of Evangelicals has been in spotlight recently as the result of a $1 million dollar grant that it received from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy.    Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-Chief of WORLD Magazine, has been involved in asking some pointed questions about why the organization, which represents some 40 Christian denominations, has received money from an organization that supports contraception for unmarried people.

The NAE, in its response to some of the questions asked by Olasky, appeared to be conflicted, saying that it opposes abortion, but must address some of the realities of sex outside of marriage, and therefore must consider advising unmarried people who insist on engaging in this type of behavior to use contraception.
In a response to WORLD's reporting, the NAE issued a statement, which includes these sentences:

Evangelicals are conflicted about contraceptives outside of marriage because we never want to promote or condone sexual immorality. But we are told that contraceptives can reduce abortions and we want to stop abortions.

But, as Olasky heard from various WORLD readers, there are better ways to address the issue of pregnancy outside of marriage than promoting contraception, which, in the eyes of many, promises what seems to be, but really is not, consequence-free sexual behavior.   Abstinence outside of marriage and fidelity inside marriage are components of God's best way regarding sexuality, and to deviate from that path is to invite a host of emotional, spiritual, and even physical consequences.   And, there is research that shows that contraception is not a completely reliable method of preventing pregnancy. 

So, the point is well-taken - should a Christian organization that claims to represent a number of Christian denominations receive funding from a group that holds to an agenda that encourages behavior that is incompatible with Christian teaching?    Well, the NAE has backed off, apparently, and decided not to apply for a similar grant in the future from the NCPTUP.     Here is a conversation from The Meeting House with Marvin Olasky of WORLD:

So, what does the NAE believe?   Sometimes it is really unclear, because the Association has taken positions that are questionable in light of Biblical teaching.   And, a study released this week seems to cloud the issue about members' perspective about whether or not America is a "Christian" nation.  The study, released as part of the 2012 Evangelical Leaders Survey, shows that about 68 percent of those surveyed agreed America is not Christian while 32 said it is.  Those on both sides agreed that America is a missions field.

Of the 32 percent who said the United States is a Christian nation, most indicated that they did so because America was founded with Christian principles or because there are more Christians here than other religions.

Here are some comments from the President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy Mark Tooley:
"Presumably the NAE poll made no effort to define what a 'Christian' nation is. Is it defined theocratically by law? Is it simply demographic? Or does it describe the sum total of culture, habits, history and attitude of a people?
"Evangelical and other church leaders of 50 or 100 years ago probably would have said America was both Christian and a missions field. But for many today, one seems to preclude the other.
"There is also some confusion over what a 'Christian' nation is, with some evangelical leaders seemingly persuaded by secularists that it can only mean a coercive theocracy.
"There is a persistent disposition of many cultural elites to ignore the large majorities of Americans who consistently profess to be religious and Christian.
"With about 75 - 80 percent of Americans saying they're Christian, America is about as demographically Christian as India is Hindu or Israel is Jewish. Even today only about 4 percent of Americans specifically identify with non-Christian religions."
While we agree that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles, many believe that to describe the U.S. as a "Christian" nation implies that we would support some sort of theocracy which excludes people of other faiths.   There is certainly some confusion, as Tooley insists, and surveys such as this can cloud the issue of what evangelical Christians really believe.   I think it's important that we are educated on the roots of our nation and recognize that religious freedom is a key, foundational component - embracing principles consistent with Scripture, which make for an orderly, well-functioning society and a citizenry possessing good moral character, and rejecting hostility toward any religion. 

2 - Congress holds vote on pro-life bill, but fails to get the necessary 2/3 of the House

One of the encouraging trends on the legislative front regarding the protection of pre-born human life is the passage of bills in various states that would outlaw abortion after the 20th week of gestation, which research shows is the point of development at which an unborn child feels pain.  Based on science, lawmakers across the country have drafted and passed legislation in a number of states.   One of those is Arizona, where a lawsuit had been filed to challenge the constitutionality of its law.   Late last week, a Federal judge had refused to strike down the law, but as the new week arrive, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had indeed intervened and ruled the law unconstitutional.

On the Congressional front, the U.S. House of Representatives took up the issue this week.    A vote was taken on the D.C. Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which would ban abortions in the nation's capital after the 20th week of pregnancy.    And, Representatives voted 220-154 in favor of the bill.  However, because the bill was brought up under a special calendar requiring a two-thirds vote for passage, the measure failed. 

The Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life advocacy organization, supports the legislation, and cited a
recent poll commissioned by the National Right to Life Committee, which found that 63 percent of Americans, and 70 percent of women, support legislation to ban abortions past the point at which unborn children feel pain.  The NRLC poll also found that American women, by an overwhelming majority of 62-27 percent, would be more likely to vote for lawmakers who support this bill.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the SBA List, reminded people that "154 members of Congress endorsed an absolutist policy of abortion on-demand, for any reason, up to the moment of birth..."   With the heavy influence of the abortion industry on lawmakers, common-sense legislation that bans certain types or categories of abortion, or proposed bills that provide greater information for women, including the ultrasound access or even requirements, are facing sizable hurdles on the state, as well as the national, level.   But, a number of state legislatures are continuing to pass these incremental measures that save the lives of pre-born children.

Here is a conversation from "The Meeting House" radio program with SBA List Vice-President of Governmental Affairs Marilyn Musgrave, with information on instances involving the life issue from the previous week:

1 - "Chick-Fil-A" Appreciation Day sets world record

The company is saying that it was the biggest sales day ever in the history of Chick-Fil-A - not a surprise, considering over 600,000 had indicated on Facebook that they would respond on Wednesday, August 1st to former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee's call for people to go to their local restaurant and show support for the company president's views on traditional marriage, as well as his right to freely state his views, without the fear of reprisals.   CitizenLink had this report on the day's activities.

This was an event that was not a protest, rather a show of affirmation for a company that embraces Christian values.   And, there's a telling aspect of this entire saga - up until a few weeks ago, the President of the United States said he believed in that definition of marriage, too, but he received a pass from the gay activist community.  You also have to consider: If Dan Cathy had been a member of another faith or no faith at all, would there have been such an outcry?   It does seem, and analysts have pointed out, that Cathy and the company have been singled out because their beliefs on marriage are consistent with the Bible and the Christian faith.   So, while many showed up to support Cathy's views on marriage, as well as his rights to free speech, the company received overwhelming appreciation, I believe, from Christians - from people of faith who may have reached a tipping point regarding the intrusion into religious liberties that they have experienced and have said collectively, "enough".

And, the media played its part, I believe in fanning the flames of mischaracterization of the Wednesday event, as well as the scheduled "Same Sex Kiss-In" at Chick-Fil-A's, where handfuls of protestors showed up at some locations, and a few even got in front of a camera.    At one Chick-Fil-A, the police had to be called out because the number of media representatives gathered (presumably looking for a story that wasn't there) were inhibiting the flow of traffic.    And, there were a couple of instances of vandalism associated with those opposed to Cathy's stance.

As Christians, we will be misunderstood as we stand for truth.  Our challenge is to communicate the message of truth in a loving manner, not to appear militant, and to even reach out to those who embrace points of view other than ours on the topic of homosexuality - and other areas - so that they will see our "good works" and glorify our Father in heaven.