Prayer Targets: Socialism; AB-2943; Chino Prayer Case; Ft. Bragg Chaplain Abuse; Hogan
August 08, 2018
David reigned over all Israel; and executed judgment and justice unto all his people. (2 Samuel 8:15)
Dear Praying Friend,
John Couretasis is Executive Editor of Acton Institute's journal, Religion & Liberty, and manages publications and communications. He has spent over 25 years in communications, events, and news, covering business and government for magazines and newspapers. John studied Humanities at Michigan State (B.A.) and Journalism at Northwestern (M.A.). In June 2012, he wrote an important article titled "Russian Warns on Demonic Roots of Socialism."
In Rome to address a conference sponsored by the Dignitatis Humanae Institute (Institute for Human Dignity) on June 29, Russian pro-life campaigner Alexey Komov expressed amazement for the support that socialism gets in some quarters in the West even though it has "never worked in world history." In an interview with the Zenit news service, Komov pointed to how this ideology had caused such great pain and suffering "all in the name of social reform, progress and improvement." His criticism was also leveled at the "softer version of socialism" of administrations in the West led by President Barack Obama and recently José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, the former prime minister of Spain.
Komov believes that if you "dig deep enough into the ideological roots of these socialist movements, you end up finding satanic roots in them." And although only a softer version is prevalent now, "it is still very dangerous," he says. "I would warn all those people fascinated by socialist ideas that they have never worked in human history -- never worked."
The traditional nuclear family is a particular enemy of socialism, he says, because it is the basic institution that preserves values and passes them on to the next generation. "The state, if it wants to dominate life and the individual from birth to death, needs to destroy the family, because the family is independent of the state," he argues. "As Marx and Engels said, the family is a repressive, bourgeois institution that needs to be destroyed; they need to get rid of its patriarchal power and that of Christianity because they are the main obstacles of the social revolution."
Komov's witness against socialism is all the more timely because of a growing fascination with Marxism in the West. That's especially true of young people who seem not to have heard a thing about the gulags and the oceans of blood shed by communist regimes (their parents may be willfully ignorant). Of course, few schools teach lessons about the Gulag or add writers such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn to required reading lists, which should also include selections from The Black Book of Communism: Crimes, Terror, Repression. The Guardian, a UK paper, examines this new enthusiasm in an article titled, "Why Marxism is on the rise again." The article links to the Marxism Festival 2012, now underway in London.
The Zenit article also quotes Rocco Buttiglione, recipient of the 2004 Acton Institute Faith & Freedom Award, on "the importance of truth and authentic tolerance in politics." Buttiglione ... noted that the meaning of tolerance has subtly changed over the years, so subtly, in fact, that it has escaped people' s notice. "'Don't be judgmental,' people say, but you can translate that as 'Don't think' because to think means to pass judgement," he said.
He said that to think means to create hierarchies, to put things in order, to make distinctions between good and bad, truth and falsehood. "If you do this, you are considered intolerant," he said, "That's bad, because it destroys real participation."
Christian Americans who understand socialism's history know that it would sorely punish the American people and ultimately bring down our nation. Believers must cry out to God with 2 Chr 7:14 prayer, obedient evangelism, and active participation in our roles as American citizens, especially between now and the elections this November and in 2020. The U.S. is already $21 trillion in debt and growing due to massive existing socialist-style programs that Americans have come to depend on. Federal and state governments increasingly violate our sacred, constitutionally protected religious liberties, and socialist politicos are clamoring for costly new free benefit programs while demanding expansion of our existing programs. We must not allow our nation to become slaves to socialism (read Why So Many Millennials Love Socialism; Can American Socialists Use Bold Colors to Prevail?; Fired-Up Libs; GOP Fears Steep State Losses; Massive U.S. Voter Guide).
California AB2943 Counseling BAN Vote Expected Tomorrow -- Believers are rallying in California to prevent the criminalization of counseling, speech, books, advertising, and every kind of therapy to help people who seek to overcome unwanted same-sex attraction or gender confusion. The U.S. Supreme Court, in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case, rebuked Colorado Human Rights Commission officials for contending "that religious beliefs cannot legitimately be carried into the public sphere or commercial domain." In America, Christian counselors have every right to practice their ministry, and individuals with spiritual, psychological, and/or other needs have a right to seek guidance and help from counselors they trust. If this bill passes, it could lead to copy-cat bills being passed in states across America. If you live in California, click HERE or call (916) 651-4171 and ask for your State Senator.
- Father, show those who seek to prevent people in desperate need from getting help the error of their ways. Father, please intervene to thwart this unjust bill from becoming law! May Your people be prepared in advance to prevent such efforts in their states. (Pr 27:12; Mt 23:15; Mt 18:6; 1 Th 5:17; 1 Tim 1:5; 2:8)
California School Board will take Prayer Case to U.S. Supreme Court -- Pastor Jack Hibbs of the Calvary Chapel Church in Chino Hills, Calif., takes seriously his call as a Watchmen Pastor. And he has taught the 10,000 members of his church to take seriously their call to be salt and light in their community. Two members from his church and one from a sister church serve on the Chino Valley District School Board. The Board opens all meetings with an invocation offered by guests from the community. The atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), which bullies small towns with lawsuits they can little afford, sued the school board demanding that they cease their "unconstitutional" prayers. The 9th Circuit Court ruled in favor of the atheists and ordered the school board to pay their hefty attorneys' fees. The U.S. Supreme Court seemed to have settled the matter in 2014 when it ruled in another case, the Town of Greece v. Galloway, that such prayers are protected by the Constitution. But, just weeks ago, the same High Court refused to consider a Rowan County, N.C. case in which the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals denied the Rowan County Commissioners their freedom to open their meetings in prayer, thus giving the FFRF oxygen to continue their quest to silence all religious expression in the public square.(School Board Denies Violation; Calvary Calls in Cavalry on Prayer; Headed for the U.S. Supreme Court; Rowan County Case; Analysis)
- Heavenly Father, may the Courts settle the issue of freedom of religion and public expression once the Court's makeup is changed. Lord, if Brett Kavanaugh is Your man, please hasten the process and guide the Senate to confirm him. Stand with the Chino Valley District School Board and other school boards, commissions, and councils that seem endlessly to be tested as to whether they will stand for religious liberty. May the next court settle this simple matter and affirm that the kind of religious freedom and expression intended and practiced by the Founders is "settled law" and firmly established for generations to come. (Ps 75:5-7; Dan 3:15-30; 6:10; Mt 5:18; 2 Cor 5:10; 1 Jn 5:3)
Chaplain Abuse at Fort Bragg -- Major General Kurt Sonntag is the commanding general of the Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, N.C. Their motto is Veritas et Libertas (Truth and Liberty). An Army investigator under Gen. Sontag's command recommended that decorated Army Chaplain Jerry Scott Squires be convicted of "dereliction of duty." According to his attorneys, Chaplain Squires was officially charged with discrimination and could face court martial, even military prison. His crime? When a same-sex couple asked to attend his planned "Strong Bonds" marriage retreat, he postponed the retreat and arranged for another chaplain to conduct the retreat who was willing to do so. It was conducted three days later, but the complaining couple did not attend. Chaplain Squires' endorsing agency is the Southern Baptist Convention's North American Mission Board (NAMB). Its requirements say: "endorsed chaplains will not conduct or attend a wedding ceremony for any same-sex couple, bless such a union or perform counseling in support of such a union...nor offer any kind of relationship training or retreat, on or off a military installation." Squires would have risked losing his endorsement from the SBC. The Army, too, requires its chaplains to adhere to their endorsers' rules and religious tenets. There is much more intrigue to this story.
Despite Religious Liberty victories in case after legal case and despite President Trump's two religious liberty executive orders and plainly overarching policy to end discrimination against people of faith, it still persists against Christians with biblical convictions regarding marriage. The investigator's findings and recommendations specifically violate the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act which states: "No member of the Armed Forces may require a chaplain to perform any rite, ritual or ceremony that is contrary to the conscience, moral principles or religious beliefs of the chaplain."
According to Todd Starnes, the military careers of Chaplain Squires and his assistant, both accused of discrimination, are in limbo because their commanding general refuses to resolve the issue. (See story by Todd Starnes; Baptist Press account; First Liberty's response)
- Father, please intervene to protect Chaplain Squires from all harm and protect all the god-fearing chaplains You have called to serve in every branch of the U.S. military. May each be true and unintimidated by the efforts of some to tempt or force them to compromise Your word. May the liberties enshrined in our Constitution be protected and may our chaplains be faithful to preach and teach the whole word of God. May every incident of abuse be used by You to draw greater attention to the gospel of Jesus Christ, and may revival break out in every military branch! (2 Sam 23:16; Pr 19:5; Is 54:17; Jer 10:10; 1 Cor 10:13;Rev 12:11)
Finally, please add these matters to your prayer list: 1) Well-known Christian student organization, InterVarsity, is suing the University of Iowa after it and numerous other Christian groups were expelled because of their policies. 2) Planned Parenthood is gearing up a massive effort to defeat Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 3) Michael Busch (D), Speaker of the Maryland House of Delegates, has pledged to preempt any changes to Roe v. Wade a changed court might decide, by creating an Amendment to enshrine abortion rights in the Maryland Constitution. The Washington Post reports that Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican who personally opposes abortion, said that he is not sure a referendum is necessary but that letting voters decide "sounds like a great idea."
Your prayers are sorely needed. Thank you for praying.