The FaithWalkers Daily — Nov. 21: Stacked Deck for Israel, Charlie Brown, Santa Monica Nativities

The FaithWalker’s Daily is a quick review of key news stories of the day from the perspective of a conservative Christ-follower living in, but not of, the world.

  • Deck Stacked against Israel’s Survival

The Basics –

As Israel pushes back with military force against Hamas-led Palestinians firing rockets into their country, many from the UN to the Egyptian mediators seem eager to oppose Israel’s right to defend itself.

Dig Deeper:

  • Via The New York Times, a senior Egyptian official (the Egyptians are supposedly mediating the peace talks): “It is so strange people are talking about the rights of self-defense,” he said. “The self-defense of whom? Of the occupied people? Of the besieged people? Of the hurt people? No, the self-defense of the most powerful state in the region and the self-defense of the occupying force of Gaza and Palestine. This is what some of the international community are talking about.” HT: Hugh Hewitt
  • Via NBC News, US Sec. of State Clinton rightly will not meet with the terrorist Hamas: “A U.S. official stressed to NBC News that Clinton would not meet with representatives of Hamas, the Islamist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, largely because of its failure to renounce terrorism and recognize Israel’s right to exist.”
  • Matthew Harkman offers a good perspective from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem via the Huffington Post : “Israelis are craving a show of strength (91 percent of Israelis support Operation Defensive Pillar) and Netanyahu has responded.”
  • Missiles may soon be coming our way, says Abraham Foxman, President of the Anti-Defamation League, if we do not stand with Israel.

A Few Thoughts…

You don’t have to believe that Israel is God’s chosen people or nation to understand anti-Semitism when you see it. For any number of historical reasons, the Jewish people, with whom Christianity shares a common heritage, have been the object of much hate for centuries. That is not to say that they have been without blame either. But the world will watch to see just how strongly the US is willing to stand with Israel as it insists that rockets not be fired at its citizens. What an excellent example of the power of one’s worldview to shape his or her interpretation of circumstances.

Worldview matters. Especially when rockets start flying.

 

  • Charlie Brown Christmas Violates Separation of Church and State

The Basics –

An anonymous parent of a student at an Arkansas elementary school filed a complaint with an atheist group when the school scheduled a field trip to view a stage version of A Charlie Brown Christmas being shown in a local church building.

Dig Deeper:

  • The story via Todd Starnes, Fox News.
  • Key quote from the atheistic “Society of Freethinkers”: “The problem is that it’s got religious content and it’s being performed in a religious venue and that doesn’t just blur the line between church and state — it oversteps it entirely,” attorney Anne Orsi told Arkansas Matters.
  • Students were not required to attend the event and parents were notified in advance.

A Few Thoughts…

So many have come to accept as reality the false notion of a wall of separation between church and state to mean a separation of all things pertaining to belief in God from government. From a Biblical point of view, there can be no legitimate government apart from God. From a historical standpoint, we need point only to the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 which said that schools should be established precisely so that religion and morality could be taught in them. For many people of faith, being forced to support a school system that actively practices the religion of atheism is a violation of their conscience, as well, but none of them file cowardly anonymous complaints. Whatever happened to free thinking?

Lesser ideas depend on greater force to survive.

  • Jesus Shut Down in Santa Monica Nativity Scene

The Basics – 

A federal judge has ruled that Santa Monica’s ban on all nativity or holiday displays should stand after atheist groups flooded the park with alternative and anti-Christian displays to create a public nuisance and force the issue into the courts.

Dig Deeper:

  • Via The Daily Caller, federal judge rules ban on nativity displays should stand.
  • At the American Thinker, William J, Becker, Jr., lead counsel for the Santa Monica Nativity Scenes Committee claims we have lost the cultural war: “Christianity, white men, heterosexuality, meritocracy, Christmas. These are the relics of a distant culture.  Let’s not kid ourselves.  They have been tipping into the abyss for some time.”
  • Via The LA Times, church groups consider next move.

A Few Thoughts…

At the core of this misguided notion of separation of God and morality from government, is the false idea that government can be neutral. But nothing is neutral. Everything functions according to some set of values and truth claims. The question is always how to balance the biases and give a venue for them to be freely expressed. By shutting down the free expression of faith in the public forum, we create an atmosphere in which certain faiths are marginalized (namely those with more visible trappings) while others (secular humanism, atheism, etc.) are permitted to flourish. Ironically, as we insist on separating morality from government, we complain about the lack of morality in our government.

Silence speaks. The absence of something is, in fact, the presence of something else.

 

Note: E-mail subscribers to this blog in the month of November are eligible to win a free copy of Os Guinness’ book A Free People’s Suicide.

About Bill Blankschaen

Bill Blankschaen is a writer, author, and communicator who empowers people to live a story worth telling. As the founder of FaithWalkers, he equips Christians to think, live, and lead with abundant faith.

His next book entitled Live a Story Worth Telling: A FaithWalker's Guide is scheduled for release in May 2015 from Abingdon Press. His writing has been featured with Michael Hyatt, Ron Edmondson, Skip Prichard, Jeff Goins, Blueprint for Life, Catalyst Leaders, Faith Village, and many others who shall remain nameless.

Bill is a blessed husband and the father of six children with an extensive background in education and organizational leadership. He serves as VP of Content & Operations for Polymath Innovations in partnership with Patheos Labs. He is the Junior Scholar of Cultural Theology and Director of Development for the Center for Cultural Leadership. He works with a variety of ministries including Equip Leadership (founded by John C. Maxwell) when he's not visiting his second home -- Walt Disney World.


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