The Giglio Saga: The New Intolerance

This week was the first time I had ever heard of Louie Giglio. It’s the first time many Americans heard his name, but now, for those who pay attention to the news, he has become prominent. Here’s why he ought to be prominent: he is a Christian leader whose ministry just drew 60,000 young people to Atlanta for the dual purpose of worshiping God and helping to end the abominable practice of human trafficking—the slavery of our age. He ought to be admired widely for his love of God and man.

Yet that’s not why he’s known by most.

Giglio was invited to give the benediction at Obama’s inauguration. Now he has been disinvited. The reason? He believes homosexuality is a sin. When a sermon he once preached on the subject came to light, the Gay Rights Political Machine went into action. Suddenly, he was a “hater.” And the worst fear of all? He might actually believe in the “dangerous” idea that a homosexual can stop being homosexual. You see, the whole gay rights agenda is based on the unsubstantiated, unscientific, unbiblical wishful thinking that homosexuality is not a choice. One is born that way. If it is a choice, it is a moral issue for which one may be held accountable—and no one can be permitted to teach or preach that message. The homosexual lobby has been effective. According to Christianity Today, only 37% of Americans now believe homosexuality is a sinful behavior, down from over 40% just one year ago.

I’ve read Giglio’s response to this episode. While I would have taken a stronger stand in a statement and reiterated that homosexuality is a sin, he certainly has not apologized for his basic Biblical beliefs. He seems to be someone who seeks to reach out to everyone with the love of Christ, which I respect. I can only hope he hasn’t modified his views over time. Those who know him can speak to that. I cannot.

What this does reveal, though, is how far we have fallen as a society. We used to have a Biblical framework for our thinking; that has eroded over the last century, little by little, but that erosion is now occurring at a faster pace. The abyss awaits.

While the Giglio story got a lot of attention, another story did not, and it’s a further indication of the loss of moral foundations. New figures were released regarding the activities of Planned Parenthood. The organization set a record this year with more than 333,000 abortions provided. Adoption referrals constituted only 1% of its “business.” Mammograms, zero percent. The worst part is that we all helped pay for it since Planned Parenthood also received more than $500 million of taxpayer funding—eagerly and vociferously supported by Barack Obama.

But what has dominated the news cycle? Proposed limitations on legal gun owners who have never harmed anyone. We are a society with views and priorities seriously askew.

The foundations must be rebuilt.

Gendercide & the Democrat Party

I have two related items today. Both say a lot about the culture of death in our society and the participation of Planned Parenthood, President Obama, and congressional Democrats in that culture. These stories no longer shock, but they are revelatory nonetheless.

One organization, Live Action, has been very successful in exposing Planned Parenthood’s worldview and activities. Live Action has taken video cameras into Planned Parenthood offices and caught personnel making outrageous statements. It happened again this week. A pregnant woman associated with Live Action went into a PP office and asked for an ultrasound. The purported reason? She wanted a boy, she said, and if the ultrasound showed a girl, she would go ahead with an abortion. The PP employee saw no problem with that and never tried to convince her otherwise.

This goes beyond mere abortion [as if there is anything “mere” about it—ever] and allows the decision to be made based on the gender of the unborn child. It’s called sex-selection abortion, and it’s one step closer to the nihilist state. A better term would be “gendercide.” Abortion itself is the taking of innocent life; gendercide makes that despicable action even worse.

The publicity generated by this incident led Planned Parenthood to dismiss the employee and simply say she was “rogue.” That’s what they say every time they are exposed. Other employees in previous stings were apparently “rogue” also and were fired. At what point, though, does “rogue” describe the organization itself? What we are seeing is the scapegoating of individuals who have been caught being faithful to the Planned Parenthood agenda.

Item #2: Live Action has been coordinating with Republicans in Congress to try to do something about Planned Parenthood’s baneful influence on our culture, and to ensure that all federal funding to this organization is cut off. Republican leaders in the House scheduled a vote yesterday for a bill that would ban gender selection in abortions. Immediately, Planned Parenthood raised the alarm, and its political allies rallied to its side. President Obama came out against the bill; then when the vote was taken, all but twenty Democrats refused to support the ban on gendercide.

The bill did get a majority, but it needed 2/3 of the House to approve because it was brought to the floor under a rule that limited debate. I don’t know the entire rationale for taking this route with the bill, but even if it was for political purposes, it was successful in that respect. It put the entire Democrat party on the side of sex-selection abortion.

As Republicans pointed out, Democrats have trumped up a “War on Women,” and have accused Republicans of waging it. But what could be more of a war on women than an abortion policy straight out of communist China, where this kind of selection already is allowed, with unborn girls as the target. Who’s waging the real war on women?

The lines are clearly drawn in this battle for life. If you say you are a Christian and you support the Democrat party, I would hope you would stop and think about those with whom you have chosen to ally in politics. Do you really agree with sinful actions such as this? Does gendercide reflect the heart of God?

Cartoon Day

I’ve got a cold and don’t want to try to think too much. Is it okay if I just inundate you with cartoons today? I have a lot of new ones. Here’s one dealing with one of my “favorite” organizations:

And of course there’s the continuing healthcare controversy over forcing religious organizations to offer all methods of birth control, even those that could be considered abortifacients:

Then there’s the Republican race, where Rick Santorum is finally making a splash. How do we know? He’s showing up in the political cartoons:

He’s going to have to watch out, though; he’s now a target:

I sincerely hope he’s ready for what he will have to face from those who don’t bother with moral scruples.

This War Is Real

The war on religion is not a zany, right-wing paranoia trip. In fact, to be more precise, it’s not a war on religion per se, but a war specifically targeting evangelical and Catholic Christianity. The Obama administration’s rules that hospitals connected with religious institutions must offer birth control pills and abortifacients such as the “morning-after” pill is a direct assault on religious liberty. These rule also apply to denominational colleges and universities who have healthcare plans. Cartoonist Michael Ramirez captures the spirit of these mandates:

Last week, we also saw pressure applied in the private sector. The Susan G. Komen Foundation, which ostensibly works to fight breast cancer, has been giving donations to Planned Parenthood for years. The foundation finally seemed to come to its senses and decided not to continue that funding. The facts are clear: Planned Parenthood doesn’t do a thing to prevent breast cancer—no screening, nothing. Rather, 91% of its activities are centered on providing or promoting abortions. For a while, Komen was the toast of the pro-life movement for its supposed recovery of conscience. Then, in just a few short days, it caved to the Left and apologized for its decision. It now appears Komen will again include Planned Parenthood in its panoply of recipients. Not exactly a model for moral backbone.

The war is real, and it needs to be fought on many fronts.

Winning the Semantic Battle

I comment frequently to my students that if you win the semantic battle, you can often win the war. How you frame yourself or your belief system/cause is extremely important, and if you can create an image that is positive, while not being dishonest, you can draw people to your side.

Unfortunately, that also works for those with less integrity. Margaret Sanger, for instance, the great promoter of eugenics and lowering the birth rates of those she deemed “human weeds,” cleverly called her organization Planned Parenthood. That sounds very respectable, doesn’t it? I mean, what would be the alternative—chaotic parenthood? In this way, she and her followers have fooled many and garnered support they wouldn’t have won if those erstwhile supporters really had understood Sanger’s agenda.

The same is true in politics. I’m no great fan of polls, particularly opinion polls on politicians and their job-approval ratings. Those change with the wind, and the public seems to vote based on the emotion of the day. There are some polls/surveys, however, that reveal more precisely the thought—or lack thereof—of the electorate. For instance, Pew Research has just released a new survey that looks at the favorability of a number of political labels. Here’s the breakdown on how the public perceives certain words:

  • Progressive: 67% favorable
  • Conservative: 62% favorable
  • Liberal: 50% favorable
  • Capitalism: 50% favorable
  • Libertarian: 38% favorable
  • Socialist: 31% favorable

Notice that there is scant approval for socialism. Yet the highest ranking term is “progressive,” which is the same thing as socialism. Voters seem to understand that socialism is not a positive thing, but they are unable to discern that what they dislike about socialism is fully present in progressivism. That’s why those who have a socialist bent rarely use that word; they use “progressive” instead. It’s more positive-sounding, right? Again, who wants to be the opposite of progressive—a “regressive” person? That sounds too much like “turning back the clock,” which is another phrase that has a negative connotation [an undeserved connotation since turning back the clock would be quite beneficial in some ways].

We perish for a lack of knowledge, which leads to a lack of understanding, which in turn leads to foolish decisions. Those who grasp the strategy need to begin framing their Biblical and constitutional beliefs in words that convey the wisdom of those beliefs. We need to win the semantic battle if we ever hope to win the overall cultural war.


Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the new chair of the Democratic National Committee, has been making news with her mouth. Every time she opens it, she seems to spark controversy, even hilarity. She’s said the Ryan plan to save Medicare would be a “death trap” for seniors; she’s concluded that Republicans who want to defund Planned Parenthood are anti-woman; and she’s accused Republicans of wanting to bring back Jim Crow laws because they are racists.

Her latest contribution to political discourse is one part honest, one part delusional. She commented that Democrats have turned the economy around [that’s the delusional part] and that they now own the economy. That last statement is absolutely true. Nice to see someone no longer blaming Bush nearly three years into the Obama reign. Republicans actually don’t mind if she remains in her high-profile position—she’s an advertisement for why more Republicans are needed in Congress and why this president needs to be replaced.

The delusion that this economy has “turned around” is widespread in the administration, and the problem starts at the top:

Why no real recovery? Well, it can’t be the Obama policies. Must be some kind of conspiracy. Cue the Anthony Weiner excuse:

The nation, meanwhile, looks to the future:

Maybe this time the change we get will also revive hope.

Herman Cain: For Real?

In 2008, most commentators treated Mike Huckabee as a fringe candidate who had no chance of winning anything. When he won the Iowa caucuses, they were stunned. He was the last candidate to stay in the race with McCain. He performed well above expectations. For that reason, he was considered one of the frontrunners this year until he decided not to make that run.

I mention the Huckabee example as a preface to writing about another such candidate this time around: Herman Cain. No one among the “official” punditry gives him any chance of winning the Republican nomination, yet he has shown surprising strength early on. In polls focusing on primary voters, he has consistently been in the lead or very close to it. At the mini-debate that took place recently among five of the contenders, the focus group at the end was virtually unanimous in declaring him the winner.

Just who is this man? Is he for real, or will he be no more than a footnote once this campaign ends?

Cain has never held public office. He tried once to receive the Republican nomination for senator from Georgia, but fell short. Why, then, does he think he can be successful in this quest?

Herman Cain says he is running because God wants him to do something significant with the rest of his life. He survived stage IV cancer, and shares a heartfelt testimony of how God led him through that ordeal and brought him out on the other side cancer free.

While that is great, and an inspirational story, what has he done with his life up to this point that makes him think he can be president?

Cain has a broad background in business. He began as a business analyst for Coca-Cola, then, with the Pillsbury company, rose to the level of vice president. Pillsbury owned Burger King at the time, and put Cain in charge of four hundred of those fast-food restaurants in the Philadelphia area, a region that was the least profitable in the country. In three years, he had made it into the most profitable.

Pillsbury was so pleased with his success that it gave him a new job—save another of its subsidiaries, Godfather’s Pizza, from going under. As CEO of that company, Cain worked his business magic again, making it profitable within fourteen months. He eventually left Godfather’s to become CEO of the National Restaurant Association. In addition to all of that business acumen, he was appointed to the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, where he served as chairman one year.

In other words, Cain is not a nobody; he has a resumé of success in the business and financial world.

What about the issues? Where does he stand?

On economics, he is a Reagan-style Republican devoted to less regulation and lower taxes. In fact, as with Huckabee, he is a supporter of the Fair Tax proposal, which would do away with all income taxes and go to a consumption tax instead. Bottom line: you keep all your money and then pay taxes only on what you decide to buy.

As a dedicated Christian evangelical, Cain opposes abortion and seeks to defund Planned Parenthood. He opposes same-sex marriage and supports the Defense of Marriage Act.

He’s also vocal about his concerns that there are some in the Muslim community who desire to construct Sharia law in the United States.

Education? Performance incentives for teachers; charter schools; voucher systems.

Energy? Drill more on our own land, even in ANWR; allow the private sector to develop alternative sources without government interference.

Healthcare? Repeal Obamacare and let the free market rule.

Immigration? Secure the border; no amnesty.

Cain is pro-Israel, pro-Second Amendment, and says his favorite Supreme Court justices are Scalia and Thomas.

If he can communicate effectively, who knows what might happen? I am not at this time declaring my support for his nomination, but I do believe he deserves a closer look. Will he be able to withstand the pressure that comes from increased scrutiny? Will he avoid a major gaffe along the way?

He has developed some significant grassroots support. Is it enough? I’m going to be watching with great interest.