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Entries in Politics (3)

Monday
Aug132018

Religious Freedom for the World 

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, second from right, wants Colorado Springs religious communities to help him promote religious freedom around the globe. He spoke June 11 at Glen Eyrie Castle. Courtesy of The Gazette, Colorado SpringsWith progressives getting more aggressive by the day, the freedom of religion clause under the First Amendment is perhaps more important now than when it was instituted. What those who oppose religious freedom don’t realize is that the right to practice one’s beliefs without fear of persecution or reprisal is something that allows us all to live in peace.

Concerning the First Amendment, Thomas Jefferson wrote the following
in 1802:

Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should “make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,” thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.

Throughout history, religious freedom has given us universities, hospitals, charities, and— believe it or not—economic growth.1 All of these are essential parts of everyday society from which everyone—religious or not—benefits.

U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback says that religious liberty “brings people to invest in people. It opens up minds and gets people building schools, colleges, hospitals, and clinics all over the place. It cannot be a restrictive environment in which people fear for their lives because of their beliefs. Religious groups can’t send people in to help if they fear for their lives.”

That is why it is so important that we protect our God-given right to practice our own religion. With that in mind, Brownback visited Colorado this past June and met with local religious leaders, including Andrew Wommack. They discussed the contributions faith-based organizations have made to society that so many take for granted.

Brownback also mentioned to Andrew and others the importance of religious organizations being educated about persecution. “The Chinese government won’t let these Muslims practice their faith,” he said. “It won’t let them take Muslim names. The government has more than 10,000 Uyghurs in re-education camps. Go to Burma right next door, and we have Rohingya (Muslims and Hindus) persecuted by Buddhists. And now the Burmese have turned on Christians in the north. The Kachin are being driven out similar to the Rohingya. Thousands are being killed. Unfortunately, there is no shortage of religious persecution around the world, and that’s why I’m here. This is a community that can help.”

On a global scale, it has become evident that advancing religious liberty in America helps even those in other countries. As stateside ministries are allowed to function, their global reach and impact are increased. If they lose the freedom to practice their faith, whether through persecution or censorship, the people who need them stand to lose the most. That is why we must meet the challenge of progressives who are growing more brazen in threatening religious liberties. If we will defend the freedom to practice our faith, we don’t just have the power to make a difference in the lives of Americans but also untold differences in the lives of others around the world.

Written by AWM staff

1 Religious Freedom & Business Foundation, “Research,” accessed August 2, 2018, https://religiousfreedomandbusiness.org/research.

Thursday
Jul262018

Religious Freedom Takes the Cake

Jack Phillips, the courageous Christian cake baker in Lakewood, Colorado, won his case before the United States Supreme Court on June 4. Previously he had been punished by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission for refusing to bake a cake for a homosexual marriage.

We had received word that 900 homosexual rights activists were responding to the Supreme Court’s decision by organizing a protest at Jack’s bakery on June 8. Alliance Defending Freedom and Colorado Family Action called on concerned Christians across Colorado to turn out on that day to show their support for Jack. He and his family have endured great personal and financial cost for standing up for their faith. We considered it a priority to support him for the price he’s paid for the religious freedoms we enjoy in our nation and sent a team. Below is an account of what took place.

June 8, 2018

We had a group of seven travel on one of the Charis Bible College shuttle buses to the Masterpiece Cakeshop in Lakewood, Colorado. We arrived at approximately 3:00 p.m. Our driver, Roc Butterfield, parked about a block from the bakery, allowing us to disembark at a location away from the crowd. The shop is in a medium-size strip mall, an end-cap space, not readily visible from the street unless you are looking for it.

When we arrived, there was a line from the front door to around the corner of the building, well past the other businesses in that location. I estimate there were about 150-200 people in that line, as well as another 150 or so mingling around in the parking area, both in front and on the side of the building.

I wanted to get a sense of the crowd; that is, friend or foe. So, I walked the length of the line, talking with a few people and reading the signs. The clear majority of those in line, I would say about 90 percent, were supporters of Jack Phillips and his family. They were waiting to get in the shop to patronize his business. It was very gratifying for me to see all these believers there supporting this man and his family who stood firm in the conviction of their belief and faith.

The line was so long that I did not plan to get in it, but my wife, Tracey, and some others got in line while I “worked the crowd.”

After some time, many of the young people from the Radiance Foundation—an educational, faith-based organization—got out of the line to move to the front area where speakers were about to address the crowd. There were also many young people there from Summit Ministries, out of Manitou Springs, who got out of line to move to the front. The line became
considerably shorter.

Jack Phillips (left)Pretty quickly, we were able to not only get in the shop but also have the honor of meeting Jack Phillips, the storeowner. We spoke with him and got a few photos. It was a real delight. He seemed to be a very personable, down-to-earth man, very friendly and sincere.

A few organizations and the defense firm that supported the Phillips family spoke briefly, and then Jack addressed the crowd with some short remarks he had prepared.

All in all, it was a very memorable experience. The beauty of it to me was to see all these believers come together in support of this family. Before we arrived, I anticipated there would be far less Christian support than opposition, which I mentioned to Tracey. But, boy, was I wrong! In fact, the word was that a large group of opposition was coming at 4:00. We stayed until an hour after that, and the group never showed up.

Written by Greg Asia

Friday
Nov242017

Andrew’s Answers to Today’s News

Recently the nation has been shocked and disgusted by all the allegations of sexual harassment against movie moguls and politicians. We should be disgusted with such behavior, especially among people who are leaders in our culture. But I am shocked that any Christian would be surprised by
these revelations.

For years, many of our politicians and people in Hollywood have been systematically dismantling any traditional sense of morality in our nation. The passing of laws against traditional marriage and the total immorality portrayed in our TV shows and movies have come out of these
people’s hearts.

The Bible says, “As he thinks in his heart, so is he” (Prov. 23:7). These people’s actions, evident in their political stands and immorality, should tell anyone who’s paying attention what was in the hearts of these people. For this reason, I’m not shocked when those who promote immorality
act immorally.

One owner of a large television network has openly said that one of his goals is to change the Judeo-Christian ethics of America. This has effectively been accomplished with the US Supreme Court’s approval of same-sex marriage and society’s “tolerance” towards every type of behavior that the Bible
calls sin.

John Witherspoon, a direct descendent of John Knox, also a former president of Princeton University and a signer of our Declaration of Independence said:

“That he is the best friend to American liberty, who is most sincere and active in promoting true and undefiled religion, and who sets himself with the greatest firmness to bear down profanity and immorality of every kind. Whoever is an avowed enemy of God, I scruple not to call him an enemy of his country.

I agree wholeheartedly. Those in the media and those politicians who have attacked everything godly in this nation should be considered enemies of this country. They should never have been given these positions of leadership. We as a nation—including Christians—put these people in power. It’s easy to understand how politicians need our support to gain power; we vote them into office. But the same thing happens in Hollywood. Every time we pay to see an ungodly movie or pay for a subscription to their television channels, we are essentially “voting” for them. We keep them in power. What we need to do is to stop! If we stopped supporting them, they would not be able
to continue.

Too many Christians have been “fiddling while Rome burned.” We have focused “on our four and no more” and have not been players on a larger scale. It’s past time for us to stand up and be the salt and light the Lord called us to be (Matt. 5:13-14).

I urge you to think about what I’m saying. We must get involved. Christians are still the single largest group in this nation, and we can make a difference if we take a stand against this present culture. In the next few months, you will be hearing more specific ways that you can let your voice be heard. If you want to stay updated on these developments, please subscribe to our list, so you can be the first to be contacted as things progress.

I’m taking a stand. I ask you to join me.

Andrew Wommack