Matthew 7:15 (NIV) “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

Matthew 24:11: (NIV) “…and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.”

2 Timothy 2:23 - 25 (NIV) - 23Again I say, don’t get involved in foolish, ignorant arguments that only start fights. 24 A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. 25 Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

And the Sun Stood Still, and the Moon Stayed


Joshua 10:12-14 - Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.13And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.14And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel. 


Usually after insisting that I must believe all the scripture or none of it, and after telling me to tear out pages that contain anything I don't believe, the fellow Christian will then ask me: "Well, what part of the Bible don't you believe?"  I've already shared two of those parts with you in earlier blog posts: The Tower of Babel, and The Pompous Ass Speaks. Now, I will share a third such story. And remember, my point is not to attack scripture or doubt God's miracles.  My point of this blog is to call out charlatans and fundamentalists that are lying about God.  One way they do that is to insist that a man, woman, or child must believe the Bible is inerrant while demanding that you must believe it all or none in order to place your trust and faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation

That is not historical Christianity and is not the Gospel. Please don't turn your back on Jesus just because some charlatans and fundamentalist religious fanatics are demanding your loyalty to every single word and story in an ancient text; to the Catholic church; to a local Protestant church; or to some holy man of God who gets paid to tell you what the Bible says and what it means. Jesus said "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."  He didn't say the scriptures can get you to the father, or that the church can get you there. He certainly didn't say religion could do it.  He actually spent a lot of time calling out the religious leaders and religious practices of his day.

First, let's deal with the book of Jasher.  Ever heard of it? God refers to it twice in Holy Scripture, so it must be true and legitimate god-breathed scripture, correct? God himself says in verse 13 of Joshua 10 that the sun stood still, the moon stayed AND then he confirms his own words by the Socratic method, which is asking the rhetorical question: "Is not this written in the book of Jasher?" Then God says again, after that reference to Jasher, the sun stood still and didn't go down for a whole day. The second place where we see God tell us the book of Jasher contains truth is in 2 Samuel 1:17-18: "Also he bade them teach the children of Judah the use of the bow: behold, it is written in the book of Jasher." 

I've already written a post about how religious men picked and chose which books you would be calling inerrant and infallible, but I encourage you to research the Book of Jasher because your Bible expressly mentions that book twice, once in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament.  But I digress.  The focus of this blog post is to give my next example in answer to the sincere questioner who asks "What part don't you believe?'

Second, let's look at whether this passage is true. The scripture speaks for itself. Do you really need me to tell you that the earth revolves around the sun (about once per year) while spinning on its axis (one rotation per day).  Do you need me to tell you that if the earth stopped spinning on its axis, gravity would cease to exist?  If your religion requires you to believe that the earth stopped spinning on its axis in order to help an Israelite army win a battle, then you need to examine what you believe and why.

As an engineer and a teacher of physics and electronics, I'm familiar with God's laws he has set in place in nature. I have studied them and applied them for decades. They are consistent and are measurable. Could God suspend the laws he put in place?  Absolutely yes, by most definitions, God can do anything. However, if God DID decide to halt the spinning of the earth to "hold the sun still", he would cause unimaginable destruction the likes the world has never seen.

Let's be good Bereans and consider this scripture to see if it is trustworthy. We can do this by using some simple math (We can trust those atheist scientists that tell us that 2+2 = 4 correct?) and use some simple science.
    At the equator, the circumference of the Earth is 40,070 kilometers, and the day is 24 hours long so the speed is 1670 kilometers/hour (1037 miles/hr).
In basic physics, we teach about a concept called "momentum" and "inertia". Anything that has mass, has inertia. Inertia is the tendency of a mass once in motion to stay in motion unless a force acts on it to change its velocity. And a moving mass has momentum. So every object on the surface of the earth is moving at 1000 miles per hour just from the rotational action of the earth (ignoring the velocity from the earth's movement revolving around the sun!) If God stopped the earth from spinning, everything on the earth that is moving at the same speed would keep moving. The air would keep moving and relative to the surface of the earth we would have winds of 1000 miles per hour. The oceans would keep moving and would wash onto land. All creatures on the earth would be propelled at 1000 miles per hour from the earth into the atmosphere. A similar more observable concept is the injury that occurs in a car crash.  If you drive into a tree at 40 mph, the car stops immediately while your body continues forward at 40 mph. You then impact with the interior of the car or tree and can be seriously injured or killed.

So unknown at the time to the writers of this book, this event is physically impossible and almost incomprehensible to consider. So either the writers were ignorant, or they were mistaken, or the God that inspired them was wrong. That's an easy choice. The writers, not God, were clearly wrong. Same as if they had written 2 + 2 = 5. But, I can't blame the writers and centuries of subsequent scribes, because they had no idea they were flying through space on a ball that was spinning on its axis at 1000 mph while revolving around the sun.

I CAN, howver, blame modern day fundamentalists who still insist that it is true AND that I have to believe it to be a Christian.  Let me be clear: I don't believe this particular event ever happened. God hasn't given me the grace or the faith or whatever you want to call it, to believe this story. Maybe it is a story that can teach us about God wanting to help his people - but can't I learn something from the STORY without having to actually believe it happened? Do I have to believe in a literal fox and grapes to learn from that well known fable? What is more important, the teaching of the story, or winning the argument as to whether it is historically accurate? Forcing the next generation of Christians to believe this or they can't believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth, is hurting the cause of Christ, hurting the gospel, dividing denominations and churches, harming the fellowship of Christians, and hurting families.

Again, why wouldn't God just strike the other army dead as he is so capable of doing with a single word? This type of story makes no sense, is unnecessary, and is not part of the saving faith a man, woman or child must have to come to Jesus Christ in repentance of sins for salvation.  Please don't tie the gospel message or being a Christian into believing this type of nonsense.  It only hurts the gospel message and turns people away who need Jesus in their lifeShame on you. Stop it.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Pompous Ass Speaks



KJV Numbers 22:30: And the ass said unto Balaam, Am not I thine ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine unto this day? was I ever wont to do so unto thee? and he said, Nay.

The Message: Numbers 22:30 The donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your trusty donkey on whom you’ve ridden for years right up until now? Have I ever done anything like this to you before? Have I?”  He said, “No.”

What a pompous ass!  Balaam was God's man. And look at the tone and questioning of God's man by a lowly ass. Who does this ass think he is? Balaam doesn't have to answer to an ass, amen! And why does the ass ask him questions instead of just respectfully saying in a hushed, whispering voice of admiration "Doctor pastor, man of God, I'm your trusty ass you've ridden for years and I've never done anything like this to you before." Why ask a series of questions except to be disrespectful?  Or maybe he is familiar with, and prefers, the Socratic method of teaching. (Socrates lived from 470 - 399 BCE, which is the same time frame this story was written, so it's possible.) And that second question: "Have I?"  I can almost picture this donkey jerking the glasses from his face and stomping while asking the second time after a dramatic pause: "WELL, HAVE I?"  To me, there is no doubt this talking donkey was indeed a pompous ass, literally.

Of course, the donkey had more to say earlier in the sacred text: Verse 28 states:  Then God gave speech to the donkey. She said to Balaam: “What have I ever done to you that you have beat me these three times?” 29 Balaam said, “Because you’ve been playing games with me! If I had a sword I would have killed you by now.”  Even donkeys know you don't "play games" with God's man or you could be killed.  What arrogance by Balaam. What anger.  What disrespect for the faithful donkey.  "I would have killed you by now."  It looks like there are TWO pompous asses in this story.

Wilford Brimley plays a pompous ass in The China Syndrome
Talking donkeys is not a revolutionary miracle occuring only in the Pentateuch.  Aesop's Fables include many tales of talking animals.  These fables were used to teach wisdom and not to be taken literally.  The Fox and the Grapes. The Boy Who Cried Wolf.  The Tortoise and the Hare. All great childhood stories that teach us wisdom for life, but that never happened.  Aesop lived between the years 620 and 560 BCE (years before Christ).  The majority of Biblical scholars believe the Pentateuch was written between 600 and 400 BCE. Uh oh.


"... like those who dine well off the plainest dishes, he (Aesop) made use of humble incidents to teach great truths, and after serving up a story he adds to it the advice to do a thing or not to do it. Then, too, he was really more attached to truth than the poets are; for the latter do violence to their own stories in order to make them probable; but he by announcing a story which everyone knows not to be truetold the truth by the very fact that he did not claim to be relating real events."
PhilostratusLife of Apollonius of Tyana, Book V:14

Might this story have been just a fable used by God to make some good points?  Who really cares, right? Unfortunately, many modern day fundamentalists care deeply.  So deeply in fact, that if you don't believe this story, you cannot trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.  Why?  Because the same book that tells of Christ, also tells us of this talking donkey. They say you can't pick and choose. They say if you find parts that are not true, then you can't trust the rest of it either.  They will say, why do you trust and believe in John 3:15, but not in Numbers 22:30. So they paint themselves, and their faith, into a corner and force otherwise good Christian people to decide: "Do I believe in talking donkeys or not?  No. So I guess there is no salvation for me.  I'm done with religion."

But before you simply say this is a waste of time, who cares about whether the donkey talked or not, you need to see also 2 Peter 2:15 and 16 which says:  "Forsaking the right way, they have gone astray. They have followed the way of Balaam, the son of Beor, who loved gain from wrongdoing, 16 but was rebuked for his own transgression; a speechless donkey spoke with human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness." So there you have it. It's not just an Old Testament story. Peter says it happened. You can't ignore his teachings.

So am I "attacking" the Holy Bible?  Not at all. I'm just pointing out that religious fanatics who demand that other believers have to agree with their narrow doctrines and theological views are hurting the cause of Christ and in many cases, are hurting their own families and their own ministries. I'll say it again.  It is NOT necessary or essential to believe all the Bible in order to believe its overall message of redemption through Christ.  You don't have to believe all of it or none of it. It does not have to be perfect and inerrant.  We know that it is not.  So that type of insistence on these matters of "religion" will drive more and more people away.  And more importantly, it makes those people sitting in the pews open to any kind of manipulation and exploitation. And it causes division amongst the brethren and amongst families, and in marriages and in relationships.

Thankfully, most Christians don't really believe this nonsense anyway.  Love Jesus. Learn from Him. You can learn alot from his life and ministry that will help you in your life, career and family. Serve Him. Tell others about Him. Love. Laugh. And leave the talking donkeys and the tower of Babel to the seminarians and theologians to get all tore up about. Don't turn your back on Christ because of a corrupt church and angry fanatical Christians. The church can't save you. Religion can't save you. The Bible can't save you.  Only Jesus.



Thursday, August 27, 2015

Josh Duggar and Fundamentalists: Ladies and Voters Beware

"I actually really hope that his wife leaves him and takes his children away from him and leaves him a lonely, bitter man," Dillon said. "I don't think he deserves happiness."  These words sound eerily like what a respected Christian lady told another Christian wife and mother of three children when it was learned her husband was a blogger.   

Danica Dillon, pictured below, is the porn star who alleges she had "violent and terrifying sex" with Josh Duggar for $1500, after he spent $600 on her at a strip club.  According to internet reports, her real name is Ashley Lewis. And she is someone's daughter. She lives in California and owns a pet chihuahua named Caliegh Marie. And God loves her and Jesus died for her. And her path crossed with a prominent Christian man that fundamentalists loved, respected and admired as a good Christian man.  



What is it about fundamentalists and their priorities?

It seems pastors are so busy preaching about Supreme Court decisions, no prayer in school, and no ten commandments allowed to be posted in government buildings, that they seemingly aren't concerned about a pastor, or deacon, or their own son, cheating on his wife! 

They lament about our country's waywardness, but never address these much more harmful and devastating sins. They don't even consider that God is judging America for prominent, and not so prominent, Christian men cheating on their wives as long as those men profess to believe the right things and are supportive of the pastor. What "hurts" the cause of Christ more, an adulterer or a blogger who questions charlatans and talking donkeys?  If you are a fundy, you already know the answer to that and I hope you will be more than happy to articulate that view in the comments area.

Tullian Tchividjian, the grandson of Billy Graham, is another recent "man of God" that couldn't keep his vows or commitment to his wife no matter how much Bible he read, preached and believed. Yet there is quick forgiveness for these men as long as they apologize and get counseling.

After all, we all sin, right guys?  Boys will be boys?  But when it comes to a man that has been a faithful husband for 30 years, but doesn't tithe and doesn't believe in talking donkeys, well, we need to be concerned about his salvation.  Good father?  So what!  Good provider for your family?  Who cares! Faithful husband? Big deal!

What fundies want to know is how you can pick and choose which parts to believe and still call yourself a Christian. I'm telling you, this is what the modern evangelical church is coming to. Embarrassment. Disgrace. Unattractive to those outside the cult mentality. And most damning, the church and the Bible are not getting any serious consideration from our children as something they need to have fuller, more meaningful lives. Our churches have bigger celebrities, bigger buildings and bigger staff; as well as TV, radio and internet to spread their message all over the world, but those that are not indoctrinated are not interested.

I bet none of the above guys, and the ones you know about too, were ever told by a preacher "you are not a man" and "you are not a Christian."  That kind of condemnation is reserved ONLY for those that give 9% or less (non-tithers), or those that question (in other words those that attack and persecute) God's man, or question some scriptures.

So Christian ladies beware!  That seemingly "good Christian man" may say all the right things, and even if his dad is the mega-church pastor, he may end up being a real jerk who will cheat on you when the opportunity arises. Don't be fooled! The stories are getting so common it's almost not even newsworthy.  Except when it involves off the chart hypocrisy, as in the case of prominent preachers and Christian celebrities like Josh Duggar. And think of how many more millions of such stories are swept under the rug and kept private by churches, pastors, and their congregations so as not to "harm the cause of Christ."

Josh Duggar, who just a few months ago was a respected Christian man, cashing in on his and his family's celebrity, was hobnobbing with Christian men who want to be the next leaders of the free world. These fundies might tell you not to associate with a blogger, but they love to associate with men like Josh Duggar. Why? Because they relate to him. They share his values.


Don't be fooled by their nonsense.  Google Bill Gotthard and his Advanced Training Institute scandals to know where these "godly men" get their views of women. These candidates identify with Josh Duggar and Bill Gotthard or they wouldn't be taking photographs with him.

So I will ask the question of you that many have asked of me: How can a man like this really know Christ and love Jesus and claim to be a Christian?  He pays money that could have gone to his family, or his church, or to help women and girls being sold in the sex industry.  But instead he pays to exploit women and cheat on his wife.  And not just his wife.  He has cheated on his children too. And his mom and dad. And his professed faith. And he has hurt his wife, his family, his in-laws, his parents, the church and the gospel message.

I know what you're thinking. "But at least he doesn't blog or ask questions of his pastor, or question a few scriptures". Don't worry Josh. You will be back with no consequences as soon as your counseling is over.  But be prepared to live with the disdain and contempt from your wife and families for the harm you have caused for the rest of your days.

"I actually really hope that his wife leaves him and takes his children away from him and leaves him a lonely, bitter man, I don't think he deserves happiness."  Does this sentiment apply to bloggers, or to adulterers, or both?  Hmmmm. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tear Pages Out of The Bible and Throw It Out?



Shocked by the picture that goes with this post?  Did some of you think: “I knew it, the Watchdog has finally come out as an atheist who doesn’t believe the Bible.” On the contrary my friend.  This is actually what I hear Christians tell me, and others, who question anything in the Bible. Sad isn’t it?

“If you don’t believe parts of the Bible, why not just go ahead and tear those pages out?”
 
“If I found any parts of the Bible I didn’t believe, I would throw the whole thing out.”
 
“You can’t pick and choose which parts you believe, you have to either believe it all or none!” 

When confronted with statements like those above from students, the late Dean L. Russ Bush at Southeastern Seminary would simply and humbly tell his students something like this, and I'm paraphrasing: 


"I sure hope you won’t do that. I sure hope you won’t throw it all out just because you have a problem with some passages.  Why would you throw out all the parts you love and know to be truth just because you struggle with some passages. Please don’t do that.”  

He was right.  Of course, to be clear, Dean Bush led the battle for inerrancy of the Bible and I have no doubt that he did believe it all, and he did believe in its inerrancy, and to be clear, there is no basis to doubt that.  But his point was, and is, still valid.  There is no reason to adopt such statements, or take such harsh action, just because you doubt, or question, or are not sure about some passages.  Where does this type of all or nothing thinking come from?  Why is it now the litmus test for whether a person is truly saved or not? Why would such a respected leader for the fight for inerrancy ask students NOT to tear pages out, or throw it all out, yet many of you will tell people to do just that. 
 
Thomas Jefferson didn’t believe it all. But he is oft cited as an example of the faith of our founding fathers.  (Please go to Wikipedia and read about the “Jefferson Bible” to understand how far back, and how much further Jefferson takes this matter, then anything mentioned, suggested or discussed in the sum of these blog posts.)

I’m not going to write much about this subject except to answer in response to those of you that pose the types of questions above to me and to others like this:  

The Bible you have in your homes has itself already had hundreds of pages “torn out” and entire books already determined by men to not be believed and not even included.  
Will you spend even five minutes on research?  Ever heard of the Apocrypha? The Gospel of Peter? The Gospel of Judas? The Book of Enoch? The Gospel of Thomas? There are too many to list.  Ever ask or consider or research how the books of the Bible were chosen? Who made the decision to include one book but not another? Why were some books not acceptable? What happened to those who disagreed with the decision makers?

Let me summarize years of research for you.  A group of religious MEN (sorry ladies) decided which books to include.  They were able to pick and choose which ones they agreed were reliable and which ones they didn’t want to include for whatever political, religious or societal reasons they thought best.  They literally tore out the parts they didn’t like, and ripped out or excluded the books they didn’t agree with.  And, according to scholars and historians, they backed up their decision by destroying any copies of these books (or so they thought) and by excommunicating or even killing those that tried to question their decisions. 

But we keep finding these books hidden in jars, or buried in the desert sands. Seriously, look it up. Even if you believe these men were inspired by God as to which books went into the canon, and which ones didn’t; and even if you trust their motives writing in the social and political times in which they met to make these decisions; the fact remains that someone had to pick and choose.  

A circular argument would be “Well, the books they chose are God’s word otherwise they wouldn’t have included them in God’s word.”  Whatever.  The truth is you are trusting a group of religious, influential MEN, with their own motives and interests during times of social upheaval and turmoil, to pick and choose which books were to be trusted and believed and relied on and which ones were not. That's a lot of faith in men you don't even know.  So please don’t tell me I can’t do the same thing with texts I do know; and with men I do know who are preaching it as if they are speaking for God almighty.  I can, and will, and do pick and choose.  And the indwelling Holy Spirit gives me discernment as to which parts are essential and truth, and which parts are not. And which parts I should apply to my life today, and which parts don't apply. And my pastor and seminarians don't like that. And for some reason, neither do many of you.

So my Christian brothers and sisters, I am not going to throw it all out.  No matter what you say.  And I’m not going to believe it all or none.  No matter what you say.  And I’m not going to be all tore up about those of you who disagree with me.  Good for you.  I don't want you to change your beliefs. I don't care what you believe. I hope it works for you. But as my previous posts point out, when it causes division and hurt to others, I have to question whether you actually believe it all, or live like you believe it all, anyway.  I could be wrong.  But praise Jesus he didn’t say I had to be right, or that I had to believe it all or none in order to be saved.  It's called a tertiary issue. Your theological dogma is not my dogma. So there.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Robert Jeffress: The Collapse of America is Inevitible

"America's collapse is inevitable. I have come to the conclusion there is nothing we are going to do to stop it....I learned something that morning [the day his church buildings were demolished] about implosions : they are sudden, they are dramatic, they begin with a series of seemingly unrelated explosions, followed by a pause, and then the sudden collapse. Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that over the last 50 years, there have been three explosive decisions by our United States Supreme Court that have so weakened the moral and spiritual infrastructure of our nation, that our collapse is inevitable. The explosions have already occurred, the infrastructure has been destroyed, the collapse is coming, we are simply living in that in between time, that pause, before the final collapse."  Robert Jeffress, preaching at Bellevue Baptist Church, August 16, 2015. Full sermon here.

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Robert Jeffress is at it again. Like many pastors of recent day, he is predicting - almost hoping for - the destruction of our country at the hands of an angry God. Above is an excerpt from the opening 5 minutes of his sermon "Being a Light Against the Dark Background" delivered at Bellevue Baptist Church last Sunday night.

Jeffress believes our country is headed for a swift and certain collapse  - as fast as the FBC Dallas buildings fell when Jeffress pushed the big red implosion button back in 2010 - because of three Supreme Court decisions he disagrees with. These three decisions are "implosions" that will cause our nation's collapse according to Jeffress: the 1962 Engel v. Vitale decision regarding prayer in schools, the 1973 Roe vs. Wade abortion decision, and the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges decision on same-sex marriage. Jeffress spent the bulk of his message convincing the foks at Bellevue of the evil intent of these three court rulings.  If you know your American history, particularly in the South, there were similar responses when the court decided black people were not property, decided women could vote, allowed interracial marriage, and desegregated our school system.  Many good old boy Southern Baptists privately will tell you they still have a problem with these decisions also.  So yes, Jeffress, we all could expect you would really be tore up over the above decisions.

But what is more disturbing, is that the crowd that night at Bellevue ate it up. 

They clapped and "amened" and hooted and hollered while the man of God preached about America's destruction. I find it amazing that Christian people will tolerate their man of God giving a narrow, dark, one-sided view of their country to paint it in the darkest of colors to create a bunker mentality among the faithful.

Apparently when it comes to God's judgment of our country, in Jeffress' view we get no credit for the enormous good our country has done in the world. God doesn't seem to care about all the good the USA does, but he sure will sic em when they don't pass laws that will help His cause. We could go through so many laws and Supreme Court rulings we as Christians AGREE WITH, that have done enormous good in our country, but we get no credit as a country for any of that. We could talk about the aid we give to countries to help them in time of disaster and war, but no, God doesn't give credit for that. Or our countries struggle to end slavery and to use our judicial system to end racial and ethnic bias. No credit for good, only God's judgment and condemnation for the three SCOTUS rulings Jeffress doesn't like.

If God is angry over Roe v. Wade, isn't his anger somewhat muted because of Christians' efforts to reduce numbers of abortions through adoption and funding of crisis pregnancy centers? Apparently not. Why isn't Jeffress predicting the destruction of Israel,where on-demand abortion is also legal? Wouldn't God be at least as ticked-off over all the sexual abuse cases by "men of God" who misuse God's name to satisfy their sexual perversions as he is over Engle vs. Vitale?  Perhaps, Robert, the main reason you and your buddies are so ticked, is because God is NOT concerned about the nonsense you are preaching.  Ever even bother to consider that?

Of course we as Christians do NOT have to share the dark, dim view of America that Jeffress and other doom and gloom pastors spew. In fact, pew sitters should not tolerate their man of God preaching America's destruction out of the book of Lamentations every Sunday. Don't let an angry, ticked-off, bitter preacher who is angry at his country over a recent ruling by 5 Supreme Court justices - stomp and bellyache and preach doom and gloom about our country to you and your family.They are hypocrites.

Let me explain. They really don't want prayer in school, but are either too stupid to realize it, or think you are too stupid to understand why.  Our children, just like Muslim children, are the most trusting and gullible and non-judgmental of other races and religions and sexual orientation until they are indoctrinated. Consider the paragraph below. Do you agree or disagree with it?

These charlatans would be stomping and ranting and raving the loudest if little Johnny's elementary school allowed a Muslim leader to come in with his prayer rug, bow down toward Mecca, and pray to Allah.  Or if Johnny came home and said, "Daddy, what is a rabbi? He came and prayed at our school today."  Go ahead and explain to Johnny that there are other religions besides his and that they have the same rights to prayer as he does and their beliefs have the same rights, respect and protections as his beliefs.  Or let that Catholic priest come in and pray with his prayer beads and ask the saints to protect the children.  I'm sure you would love explaining to Johnny about how protestants didn't believe everything the church was telling them so they walked away from it.  And finally, let the Southern Baptist pompous ass come in and stomp around and talk down to the kids while praying for God to send judgment against their homosexual friends. No, Jeffress and congregants, you DON'T want prayer in school.  

So parents, if you subject your kids to this kind of dark, manipulative preaching, don't be surprised when your kids go to an institution of higher learning and actually STUDY these court rulings, their history, the pros and cons of each side of the argument - that they will realize their man of God was at best misleading them and at worst outright lying to them. No wonder so many young people are becoming part of the "nones" and "dones" as they move from their teens into adulthood. They realize their man of God was anything but "of God", and just an angry man who was quick to misuse facts to persuade them to be as angry as he is. They may even hold some resentment against mom and dad, who told them to love and respect and never question the angry man stomping around up on stage.

After Jeffress explained how terrible the 1962 Engle vs. Vitale ruling was that "removed prayer from the public schools"(Jeffress is deceptive, by the way - since Engle v. Vitale prevented the reciting of government-written prayers, not all prayer as Jeffress says), he then makes reference to the 1980 Stone vs. Graham ruling that prevented government schools from posting the Ten Commandments:

"That was the beginning decision [Engle v. Vitale] of a long series of decisions by the court that demonstrated our country's not neutrality toward Christianity, but its hostility toward Christianity. And the culminating decision occurred in 1980 in the case of Stone vs. Graham, in which the United States said, it is unconstitutional to post the copies of the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky classroom....I don't believe it is any coincidence that 17 years after the Supreme Court made that decision in 1980, in 1997, in another Kentucky school, Heath High School in Paducah, Kentucky, a group of students were meeting for prayer before their school began. Standing in front of the lockers with their heads bowed as they prayed, and while they were praying a 14-year old who obtained a handgun approached the praying students and opened fire on them, seriously wounding 5 and killing 3 of those students. And it all happened in a Kentucky school, where 17 years earlier the highest court in this land said 'You cannot post the words Thou Shalt Not Kill'. GOD HELP US!! GOD HELP US!!!"

So in true David Barton-like fashion, Jeffress links the 1980 ruling that prevented the government from posting the Ten Commandments in a Kentucky school, as a direct cause to the shooting of three students 17 years later at another Kentucky school. Could have been Ohio or Indiana where this occurred (as they also didn't have the Ten Commandments posted either since 1980), but according to Jeffress it is some sort of divine punishment that three students were killed in Kentucky. Actually, the three students were killed because there was a kid in the school who was a clinical paranoid schizophrenic who had been bullied and played violent video games. But it makes for better pulpit drama and helps Christians have more disdain for their country to say the shooting was actually the result of the 1980 Stone vs. Graham Supreme Court decision.

Once again, these guys are too stupid to realize they don't want religious texts posted in schools, or they think you are too stupid to understand the dangers. They don't want verses from ancient religious texts in the schools.  Consider:  Do they want the Jews posting Scriptures from the Old Testament that don't support Jesus being God?  Do they want Catholics posting verses about the literal eating of flesh and drinking of blood of Christ?  Do they want the Quran verses about killing the infidel hung in the hallways?  OF COURSE NOT!  They are just blowing smoke at their congregants when they know allowing this type of religious postings in our schools would be dangerous and illegal. But you clap and hoot and holler and amen them.   

Christians - fact check your pastor. Analzye the cause and effect link he is trying to make. If your pastor refers to some historical event or legal case to persuade you - research it yourself. Read about the three cases Jeffress referenced above. Don't take HIS word on how they should be interpreted. You might find it surprising to look at the ACTUAL case, and read about both sides of the argument. Make your mind up yourself. If you take your pastor at his word when it comes to history or legal decisions - you do so at your own intellectual peril. And your kids won't be so trusting someday.

Lastly, Christians: cheer up. You can love your country. You can hope for and believe in and work toward the best for your country. Don't be fooled into thinking that any natural disaster, economic collapse, or terrorist attack might be God exacting his revenge on America for same sex marriage. If your pastor is in a funk over same sex marriage and has become a doom and gloomer, and preaching out of Lamentations and advocating imprecatory prayers, visit a different church for a while. They preached the same nonsense when blacks were allowed to vote and when the Court decisions allowed interracial marriages.  Those made our country stronger, not weaker.  But those good old boy Southern Baptists sure didn't like it.

Perhaps, if God is judging America, it is because these mega pastors and their enablers have hijacked Christianity and the only thing that God is imploding, are these charlatans and their mega churches. Amen and A-man!