California: You Win Some, You Newsom

California: You Win Some, You Newsom

California: You Win Some, You Newsom

May 01, 2020

Good news, California! Your generous dictator, Governor Gavin Newsom (D), has decided to "allow" residents to watch the sunsets! Turns out, it's one of the few government-approved activities his administration has benevolently approved in lockdown, according to a new decree. His scepter also waved agreeably at gardening and car washing, in case people were wondering. But if you want to play doubles' ping-pong, you'd better get the county's permission.

"Huzzah! Let us peasants bow on bended knee and vow to be worthy of his merciful thoughtfulness," one resident tweeted sarcastically. "Oh good," posted another. "Meditation is on the list. Thank you, Governor Newsom for not policing my brain. That's so lenient of you!" Others, like California's Republican Party leadership, were less veiled in their criticism. "[Newsom's] gone off the deep end," Harmeet Dhillon fumed.

When people started hitting the beaches, one sheriff's deputy said they weren't supposed to allow chairs because people might -- get this -- sit down. "Basically, you're supposed to be just kind of walking or swimming -- or resting from your walking or swimming. But they don't want chairs," he grumbled. At first, people like Pastor Jim Garlow says they laughed. "They can't be serious, we thought. After all, it's America! But they didn't. And now, it's no longer funny." The governor fired back at critics, saying they have to be "cautious." But this isn't cautious -- it's outright despotic.

Elsewhere, in places like Louisiana, some of the state pressure is paying off. As more churches grow impatient to start the re-opening process, Attorney General Jeff Landry encouraged the governor, John Bel Edwards (D), to start amending his emergency order. "As other states begin reopening and unrest in the legislature continues, I believe many faith-based congregations will begin to meet with or without guidance," Landry wrote. "We are be better served by taking a proactive approach by publishing reopening guidelines that take a phased approach to faith services restarting. Without guidance based on best practices in place, this could be disastrous."

Borrowing from FRC's roadmap for re-opening churches, he included a draft framework for how Louisiana could approach the issue. On Thursday, seeming to heed the call, Governor Edwards agreed that churches could at least start holding services outdoors, if they practiced social distancing. Christina Stephens, a spokeswoman for Edwards, said the state fire marshal would send guidance to churches about it as early as today.

Down in Florida, pastors don't seem to be deterred by the new normal. After all, one said, the church isn't just a building -- it's a community. "Everything that we'll do, we'll do outside," a minister of a small Tallahassee church explained, including baptisms. They'll ask people to wear masks, and they won't pass a plate. Instead, there'll be donation stations and other boxes set up around the parameter.

David Uth, pastor of First Baptist Church of Orlando, admitted that he'd been worried about how this would all turn out. But even in livestreamed funerals, He's seen God work in amazing ways. "So you know what? I think we can do these things. We just have to do them a little differently."

For advice on how your church can get prepared, check out our new publications, "Guidelines for Re-opening Your Church" and "What Pastors Should Know about the White House Plan to Open up America Again."

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

Kentucky Cried Chicken: Gutless Gov Scorns Life

May 01, 2020

When Governor Andy Beshear (D-Ky.) steps up to the podium for his daily press briefings, there's one death toll he doesn't announce. There's no county-by-county map, colored in shades of red, telling people how many lives abortion has taken since March. If there were, his state would be horrified to know that they've lost 240 people to coronavirus, and more than double that -- 561 -- to another sickness: the liberal hypocrisy keeping his clinics running.

Maybe to Governor Beshear, 561 babies doesn't seem like much. But it's enough to fill up both of Kentucky's children's hospitals -- with 90 more to spare. And these casualties, unlike the thousands we can't comprehend, were entirely preventable. All the governor had to do, State Senator Whitney Westerfield (R) insisted, was follow his own orders. "This is the same governor, who for the last six weeks has had... a [policy] in place prohibiting... no elective medical procedures. [It's] shut down everything from getting your teeth cleaned to getting cancer surgery. But [it] hasn't shut down the elective abortion procedures that are happening at the EMW Women's Clinic in Louisville every single day."

By now, Whitney points out, Kentucky has blown past that 561 total from March 1st to mid-April, thanks to an administration that is more beholden to Planned Parenthood than his state's own safety. "The governor has had weeks and weeks to shut them down to enforce his own order on them. And he hasn't done it."

Of course, all of this is par for the extreme course for Beshear, who just put himself on the record as part of the radical fringe supporting legal infanticide. When Sarah Perry asked Whitney on "Washington Watch" if he was surprised by the veto of his born-alive bill, the state senator said frankly, "Not at all. He's been hostile to [unborn] and innocent life since before he was governor. He was the [attorney general] before that, and he demonstrated on a regular basis his lack of concern for unborn lives and those in this case that are just born an innocent. And wasn't at all surprised."

What is surprising, at least to some, is how easily Beshear dismissed such a consensus issue. This isn't just a bill that passed unanimously in the state senate, there wasn't a single person who spoke out in opposition! Over in the General Assembly, it got another 70 votes, reflecting the incredible groundswell of support throughout Kentucky to give abortion survivors medical care. And what did the governor say? He's "not doing divisive issues" right now.

Westerfield could only shake his head. "I mean, we deal with divisive issues -- [try to] find a state legislature that doesn't. [But] this isn't one of those things. When you've got people from the Left and Right that are all in agreement on a policy, who in the world could possibly be opposed to making sure that a child born alive... [has] medical care? There is no way you can square his sanctimonious, self-righteous [statements that] we're doing all that we can on COVID-19 -- but then, in the same breath, with the stroke of a pen and a flippant one paragraph veto message, claim that this is divisive. It's very disappointing, very frustrating and entirely predictable."

For now, Westerfield and the rest of the state have no choice but to wait until the 2021 session. Since Beshear waited until the legislature recessed to veto, that's the only alternative. But this isn't the end of it, Whitney vows. "I absolutely plan to file it on day one of the 2021 session." Until then, every state can learn from Kentucky. First all of, to pray for their governors. And then, to get involved. Elections matter, as anyone living under Beshear's administration knows.

"Hold accountable the state representatives or the senators that you have and make sure that they're going to stand up for life when they get there in January," Westerfield urged. "Don't be sitting on the sideline. It's a weird season right now, obviously, because of the pandemic. You're not going to see candidates knocking on doors. And then we're certainly not all going to fish fries ever Saturday night like we usually would do on a campaign trail. But that doesn't mean that we shouldn't get out and vote for this November."

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

World War II Vet Wages another Battle -- for God

May 01, 2020

At 94-years-old, a 17-degree morning is a harsh way to start any day. But even the chill couldn't stop Rev. Fred Lunsford from making the two-mile trek to his prayer garden. The pastors who visited later that January day had heard the story of the decorated hero: a World War II veteran that stormed the beaches of Normandy and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. But as they stood there, in his den, Fred didn't mention the military medals and plaques. He was only interested in one thing: prayer.

Like others in the congregation, Pastor Greg Mathis of Mud Creek Baptist Church knew about Fred's vision. Two years ago, sitting out in his prayer garden after being released from the hospital, Fred had asked the Lord to take him. His wife of 70 years, Gladys, had died several years back, and he felt like there was nothing left to do. "I said, 'Lord, I'm done with this. Take me on home.' And He said, 'Not yet.' I asked him why," Fred remembered on "Washington Watch," "and He delayed His answer for some time. And I went back to the prayer garden... I was praying and seeking the face of God on a beautiful, beautiful day. Birds were singing. Clouds were blooming. And I could look at the mountain range in front of me, and it seemed to me that I saw Him -- Jesus, standing [there]."

From out of nowhere, the lightning and thunder started. Then the rain began to pour, and Fred couldn't see Jesus anymore. But just as suddenly as it came, the storm left -- and a still small voice asked him, "'Do you want to know why [I said] not yet?' And I said, 'Yes, I want to know...' And He said, 'I have extended your years for purpose, for a reason.' 'What is that reason, my Lord?' And He said, 'I want you to pray for spiritual awakening of our country, of our world. And the healing of the nations. And not only do I want you to pray -- I want you to get everybody you can to pray with you.'"

Fred is 95 now and just as convinced as ever that he's been spared to bring a message of spiritual awakening to the nation. "2 Chronicles 7:14 tells God's people to [humble themselves and pray]. And my tremendous heartbeat is that people everywhere will cry out to God for spiritual awakening next week on the 5th of May." He's calling it "Praying on the Mountain," and his story has spread so far and so wide that more than 125,000 people have signed up on the Mud Creek Baptist website to join him -- 115,000 more than he asked for.

His goal had been for everyone, pastors especially, to join him on the mountain, in that special place. But now with the coronavirus, he realizes that the whole idea was just to get his attention. "I now realize that it never was about us gathering physically to pray," Fred says, "but joining our hearts and souls to collectively pray together... We can't pray too much! There's an urgency for Christians to pray now."

Will you join Fred on his mountain? Add your name to the tens of thousands of people who will be setting aside time next Tuesday, May 5th, to plead with God for a spiritual awakening for our nation. Then, sit back and hear the amazing story from the American hero himself in this interview with Pastor Mathis.

Tony Perkins's Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.

A Three-Star Set-up

May 01, 2020

Andrew McCarthy knew there was something fishy about General Michael Flynn's resignation in 2017. And three years later, new documents have finally proven him right. Hear what the former federal prosecutor has to say about the explosive new revelations and what tipped him off that the FBI was trying to frame Flynn in Thursday's interview on "Washington Watch."