What is a journalist?

It was a stunning victory. Despite the bias of the liberal press, the lack of support from his party’s big hitters, and Hillary Clinton’s professional, well-oiled campaign machine, Donald Trump emerged the winner on Election Day. I do not know about anyone else, but I was surprised.

Polls revealed that approximately eighty percent of white evangelicals voted for Trump, and in the post-election they made no effort to hide their joyous celebrations. I think they were just as surprised as me.

In contradistinction, Clinton’s supporters have done nothing to hide their disappointment over her loss, whining and protesting the outcome of our democratic process. I think they were just as surprised as me also.

In the wake of the election many question how Christians could so strongly support a man so lacking in Christian character and who is unapologetically immoral. A recent article in the Washington Post, titled “What is a Christian,” highlights this kind of thinking and shines a spotlight on the bias of a liberal press.

I think it is unwise to try and judge an electorate’s Christianity based on the outcome of a political contest, but that did not stop the Washington Post. People, believers and unbelievers, cast their ballots based on a host of reasons that have nothing to do with faith. Donald Trump was not elected on the white evangelical vote alone.

More importantly, and though the percentage was smaller, why didn’t the Washington Post question the Christianity of those who voted for Clinton? She defends Planned Parenthood’s harvesting, and selling to the highest bidder, body parts of aborted babies, supports abortion on demand, and sanctions same-sex marriages just as immoral as Donald Trump’s adulterous affairs.

The truth is neither political party gave us a clear moral choice. But the bigger question here is, why many in the media, like the Washington Post, question the Christianity of Trump’s supporters, but not the Christianity of Clinton’s supporters? The only explanation is the unmitigated bias that exists in liberal journalism.

I thought it was a mater of journalistic ethics to be fair and objective when reporting the news, but we are increasingly subjected to more opinion and commentary than we are information. One exit poll said fifty-three percent of white women voted for Trump, but no one is asking, “What is a white woman?” One thing the Washington Post can count on is genuine Christianity will not be defined by the bias of a liberal press.

In his Sermon on the Mount, specifically Matthew 7:1-5, Jesus decries hypocritical judgment. One of the dangers of hypocritical judgments are the tables can be turned on you. Jesus said, “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged,” Matthew 7:1-2.

So here is my question, why is the Washington Post asking its readers, “What is a Christian?” when they should be asking themselves, “What is a journalist?”

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Discrimination is a two way street

Barronelle Stutzman is a florist in Richland, Washington. When a gay couple, which she had sold flowers to before, asked her to do the floral arrangement to commemorate their same-sex marriage, she refused because it violated her Christian beliefs.

The couple complained and Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson is suing Stutzman under the state’s consumer protection and anti-discrimination laws. The problem with anti-discrimination laws is they ultimately discriminate against someone, and in this case it is Stutzman and her Christian beliefs.

There are similar cases around the country, bakers refusing to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage, photographers refusing to take pictures to commemorate a same-sex wedding, and more. In every case I have read, those being sued have served same-sex couples until they were requested to participate in something that violated their Christian conscience.

The very definition of discrimination is “to note or observe a difference; distinguish accurately.” I think every one would agree it is a good thing to discriminate between right and wrong. It was true in Washington State until what Stutzman thought was wrong, this couple thought was right.

Government is responsible to provide its services and benefits without discrimination to every tax-paying citizen. But whether one wants to admit it or not the purpose of the First Amendment was to allow every person the right to discriminate in what they believe, what they say, and whom they associate with. The right to do something is very different from the right to force another in helping you do it.

While Obergefell v. Hodges gave same-sex couples the right to marry, it did not create an obligation on the part of another to help them secure that right. I have the constitutional right to own a firearm, but that does not create an obligation on another citizen to buy me one or supply the ammunition.

Any legislature that enacts anti-discrimination laws like those of Washington State that enslave one class of citizens to do the bidding of another class of citizens is on a collision course with the Constitution. Of course, it is not what the Constitution says that counts, it’s what those, now eight black-robed justices say it says that counts.

Christians are not asking the LGBT community to bake us a cake, bring us flowers, or commemorate our traditional marriages with colored photos. The LGBT community has won the right to do as they please, and we simply want the right to do, as we believe. Genuine Christians bear no hatred for the LGBT community, but neither can we condone what the Bible condemns.

Government would do well to leave the freedoms that have served us so well for over two hundred years in place, and leave its citizen’s free to work out their differences peaceably or to disagree. Government should heed what God through Moses told Pharaoh, “Let My people go, that they may serve Me,” Exodus 8:1, and not discriminate against believers with supposedly anti-discrimination laws.

It’s a boy

I do not think it too far a stretch to liken this past campaign year to a difficult pregnancy. As the end nears one is weary with the burden, and longs for the birth whatever attends it so long as it is over.

On Tuesday, November 8, 2016, America’s due date arrived and our nation went into electoral labor. I went to sleep that night not knowing if it would be a boy or a girl. During the night and before I awoke, our democratic process gave birth to a new President, and it’s a boy.

Donald Trump promised to make “America great again” and Hillary Clinton declared “America is great, because America is good.” Hillary’s words are a quote from a bit of prosaic verse titled “America’s Greatness” often attributed to the late French statesman and political observer Alexis de Tocqueville.

Tocqueville’s authorship has been called into question, but there are two points I think are important; somebody wrote it and it is a well-worded observation. Here is the quote in its entirety.

“I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her commodious harbors and her ample rivers, and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her fertile fields and her boundless forests, and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her rich mines and her vast world commerce, and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her public school system and her institutions of higher learning, and it was not there.

I sought for the greatness and genius of America in her democratic congress and her matchless constitution, and it was not there.

Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits flame with righteousness did I understand the secret of her genius and power.

America is great because America is good, and if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great.”

The writer is correct when he surmised America’s goodness and subsequent greatness are directly attributable to the righteous influence of her churches. I do not think America is as great as it has been because America is not as good as it has been, and I do not think Donald Trump can make America great again, at least not alone.

If America ever hopes to be great again its churches must resurrect godly goodness through the righteous example of their words and deeds. The petty bickering, name-calling, and bitter rhetoric that has attended this political season among those who Christ commanded to “love one another” must cease.

If we have wronged another we must repent. If we have been wronged we must forgive. We must look to our Father for healing in the church, so we can help heal our land.

“I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men…who are in authority,” 1 Timothy 2:1-2.

Hacksaw Ridge and The Conscientious Objector

He was a Seventh Day Adventist, an ordinary man whose extraordinary faith and courage has left an indelible mark on the combat history of our nation. He never touched a gun or killed an enemy soldier, but the heroic exploits of Alvin York and Audie Murphy cannot compare to what he did. He was the first conscientious objector to win our nation’s highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor. His name is Desmond T. Doss.

Growing up in a Christian home Desmond was appalled to learn of the story of Cain and Abel. He could not understand why a man would kill his own brother. As a boy he vowed to never take another man’s life.

When the attack on Pearl Harbor ushered the United States into World War II, Doss thought it was his patriotic duty to enlist. That first night in the barracks he was taunted for praying while his fellow recruits threw their boots at him. When he refused to train on the Sabbath or touch a firearm, he was ridiculed. Doss vowed while others would take lives he would be by their side to save lives.

Despite the repeated humiliation heaped on him, he never took offense nor compromised his faith. When the 77th was deployed to the Pacific Theatre, in one engagement after another, this man his fellow soldiers called a coward distinguished himself in providing lifesaving aid to those who fell in combat.

Eventually the 77th was sent to Okinawa to reinforce the American troops attempting to take the island. The Japanese had retreated to the Shuri escarpment, a plateau three hundred feet above the island. The last fifty feet was a vertical climb made possible only by the use of cargo nets. The Americans called it Hacksaw Ridge.

The Japanese were well entrenched. In nine successive assaults the Americans had reached the plateau only to be thrown back by withering fire. On April 29, 1945, A Company tried again. As the day closed, A Company was forced to retreat leaving seventy-five casualties behind.

During the next twelve hours, under cover of darkness, Doss climbed to the top, alone and under constant fire from enemy snipers, he rescued every single man by dragging each one to the edge of the escarpment and letting them down by a rope. Doss prayed, as he let each man down to safety, “Lord, let me get one more.”

Mel Gibson is bringing this remarkably true story of faith and courage to moviegoers this November 4th, titled “Hacksaw Ridge.” While I do not normally recommend faith-based films, having seen the trailer to the movie, I believe it will prove to be a “must see” for the Christian patriot.

Doss said of himself, “I was not a conscientious objector, I was a conscientious cooperator.” Doss exemplified the words of Christ, who said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” John 15:13.