10 Bible Truths For The Age Of Gay Marriage
Posted on 07.03.15 by Danny Glover @ 6:12 am

Last week’s Supreme Court decision that invented a constitutional right for homosexuals to marry has stirred a host of emotions within the hearts of Christians. They include anger at the country’s rejection of godliness, anxiety about the fate of religious freedom, and frustration over the weak faith of brethren who have embraced the misleading “God is love” gospel of appeasement.

These feelings are understandable and even righteous. But they are volatile and if not kept in check, they could explode into sinful attitudes and behavior, whether in the immediate aftermath of the ruling or as its consequences become evident. The ruling also may weaken the resolve of some Christians to accept the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality as truth — and to share that truth with others who need to hear it.

In other words, the spiritual fallout of the ruling could be as great as the political and cultural impact. Five justices on the Supreme Court did not directly change the spiritual reality in America in that no one suddenly started practicing homosexuality because of their votes. But Satan clearly is using the decision as a wedge to tempt God’s people into committing sins that are just as eternally destructive as homosexuality. He may have been on the prowl for our souls all along.

We Christians need to prepare our minds accordingly as the age of gay marriage becomes fully realized in the United States. Here are some relevant biblical truths:

“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong” (I Cor. 6:13). To some extent, it’s too late for saints to be on the alert against deceptions about homosexuality. Advocates have achieved their long-term goal of overhauling the views of straight America. The “massive, silent cultural revolution” they led has been so successful that today more Americans believe homosexuality is moral than those who believed divorce was in 2001. This includes many people who claim to be Christians. The pressure to conform to this cultural norm will be even greater thanks to the Supreme Court’s endorsement of gay marriage. To stand firm in such circumstances, we must don the full armor of God and be ready to engage in spiritual battle (Eph. 6:10-18).

“We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). In speaking for the Supreme Court’s majority, Justice Anthony Kennedy said people whose faith prevents them from condoning same-sex marriage have the right under the First Amendment to teach those principles. But in separate dissenting opinions, Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito warned that the ruling offers “no comfort” to Christians, who can expect to be vilified if they show themselves “unwilling to assent to the new orthodoxy.” So far Roberts and Alito appear to have a better grasp of political reality. Believers are being punished for refusing to bake cakes, take photos, provide flowers or rent facilities for same-sex wedding ceremonies and even to perform such ceremonies. The Supreme Court hasn’t given Christians any reason to hope that will change. Last year the court refused to reconsider a ruling against a photographer. It appears likely that Christians will be forced to choose between obeying God or men when it comes to gay marriage. The apostles Peter and John, who went to jail for preaching “the whole message of this Life” and then defied the authorities who told them to stop talking about Jesus (Acts 4:13-22, 5:27-39), serve as shining examples of how to respond when faced with that dilemma.

“Whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves” (Rom. 13:2). When no conflict exists between the gospel and the government, Christians must obey men in order to obey God. Down the road, that may mean paying more taxes. The Supreme Court decision already has triggered talk of eliminating the tax exemptions that churches have enjoyed for decades. Such a policy could have far-reaching budgetary consequences for congregations. As U.S. citizens, we Christians certainly have the right to defend tax exemptions with as much political force as we can muster, knowing that indirectly they have helped spread the gospel in America and abroad. But if we ultimately lose, we must render to Uncle Sam what is his (Mark 12:13-17). (We also must not let any changes in the tax code influence our cheerful, selfless financial support of the gospel, II Cor. 9:7.) Enemies of Christ undoubtedly will look for other ways to hinder the church in its mission and get the government to go along with them. Whenever that happens, saints must honestly assess whether the demands are unrighteous or merely unjust and respond as guided by God’s Word.

Filed under: Culture and Government and News & Politics and Religion
Comments: 5 Comments

The First Amendment On Display
Posted on 06.26.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:50 pm

Both the quote and the photo are courtesy of the same White House, seven years apart.

Interpret it as you will. I see freedom of religion and freedom of speech on display. Let’s hope both First Amendment values are equally welcome in the America of the future.

Filed under: Government and News & Politics and Photography and Religion
Comments: 2 Comments

Twitter Wakes Up To Its Own Reality
Posted on 06.19.15 by Danny Glover @ 10:13 pm

Back in 2009, I started curating Capitol Hill tweets at my now-defunct blog, AirCongress. I called the feature “Hill Tweet News.” A year later, I became the editor of Tweet Watch Report for a company that had the marketing and technological resources and know-how to take the concept of Twitter curation to the next level.

Over the next two years, our team improved Tweet Watch and brainstormed ideas for expanding the editorial concept into other areas. None of those panned out, and we stopped publishing in December 2012. But three months later, blogger Michelle Malkin launched Twitchy and proved that curation by real people is a necessity for a platform as unwieldy as Twitter. In less than two years, Twitchy had achieved such success that she sold it to Salem Communications.

Flash forward to today and this news about Twitter: “Twitter’s editorial team (made of real, live humans) will define the big stories of the day and will package tweets, images and video to explain what’s going on. Those packages will be the primary unit of Twitter, and will be embeddable all over the Internet.”

In other words, it only took the media “experts” at Twitter six years to see in their own product a need that I recognized six years ago.

It’s nice to see this vision finally realized by the people who built the platform. But why do media companies, even innovative ones, always take years to wake up to reality?

Filed under: Media and Social Media
Comments: None

It’s Just Like Riding A Bike — Or Not
Posted on 05.30.15 by Danny Glover @ 11:32 am

You may think it’s impossible to forget how to ride a bike, but this video proves otherwise. It is an amazing demonstration of how the brain works. I don’t quite understand it — but that makes it even more amazing.

A Facebook friend who watched the video said the bike made at least two changes in the brain’s how-to-ride-a-bike algorithm — the second being that the change in the handlebars forces the rider to put most of this weight back on the seat rather than leaning forward.

“If you lean into the turn with pressure on the bars, you will push the front wheel in the wrong direction,” he said. “So, it is not just about left-right; it’s about a bike that is in fact impossible to ride with a normal position. You have to have almost 100 percent of your weight on the seat.

That may well be, but it doesn’t make the experiment any less fascinating to me. The fact that every person who tries to ride the backward bike fails is the most impressive to me. If science class had been this interesting, I might have gravitated toward it as a field of study instead of journalism.

Filed under: Culture and Education and Human Interest and Video
Comments: None

Danny’s Nightmare Aboard Betty’s Dream
Posted on 05.29.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:11 pm

Three weeks ago, I had the most exhilarating and at the same time the most sickening airplane ride of my life. I relived the highs and lows in a personal essay. If you’re an aviation buff or a fan of World War II history, the coverage includes plenty of photos and videos of our takeoff and the bombers in formation.

Here are the first few paragraphs to spark your interest:

If one slogan could capture my thoughts at lunchtime on May 7, this would be it: “I flew in the belly of a B-25 bomber, and all I got was this lousy motion sickness bag.” That’s how I felt as I exited the floor hatch of Betty’s Dream after a media flight before the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover, stepped onto the tarmac at Culpeper Regional Airport in Virginia and inhaled a much-needed breath of fresh air after a rough flight.

But if a pilot in the Commemorative Air Force had asked me later that day whether I’d ever want to fly in a World War II aircraft again, I probably would have said, “When do we take off?” I don’t think I could resist an adventure like that — even though I get anxious about flying in general and even after having endured the worst flight of my life.

I am a writer for the Federal Aviation Administration and talked my way onto Betty’s Dream while reporting an advance story on the flyover for agency’s internal website. With several high-profile media outlets covering the event, I figured my chances of getting a seat were slim but made my pitch anyway for a flight with good video potential.

Two months and many pestering emails later, I finally heard from Leah Block at CAF: “I will put you on one of the trainers, so you should be able to take some great shots. … You will fly from Culpeper. In the air about an hour.”

And that’s the point at which my nerves began to fray. The journalist who practically begged for a seat in a 70-year-old warbird suddenly remembered he used to drive up to 10 hours one way for assignments in order to avoid flying in modern aircraft.

Check out the full coverage at Medium.

Filed under: History and Military and News & Politics and Photography and Video
Comments: 1 Comment

Homebodies In The Rust And Bible Belts
Posted on 03.09.15 by Danny Glover @ 6:48 pm

Last fall, The New York Times published some interesting data in an interactive map that shows how U.S. residents migrate by state. I just discovered it in my Facebook feed today and was most curious about the data from my home state of West Virginia.

According to the graphic, 70 percent of people who lived in the Mountain State in 2012 were born there, down from 81 percent in 1950 and 1900. I know that many more West Virginians, including myself, move away for work these days than used to be the case, but I was surprised to see that the state has an increasing percentage of people from other places.

Only a few states have a greater percentage of homebodies than West Virginia — Louisiana at 79 percent, Michigan at 77 percent, Ohio at 75 percent, Pennsylvania at 74 percent, Mississippi and Wisconsin at 72 percent each, and Iowa at 71 percent. Like West Virginia, Alabama is at 70 percent.

The takeaway is that people in the Rust Belt and Bible Belt love to stay close to home.

Filed under: Culture and Media and Religion and West Virginia
Comments: None

What A Weasel!
Posted on 03.03.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:13 pm

Here’s the hijacking that had everyone on the Internet tweeting today:

The weasel terrorist lost this battle, according to photographer Martin Le-May, who captured the once-in-a-lifetime flight in England. After the bird climbed about 10 feet with the baby attack weasel on its back, he said, the bird landed, ditched the weasel and fled.

No weasels or woodpeckers were harmed in the making of this meme — unlike the incident in West Virginia earlier this year when the roles were flipped and a hawk snagged a squirrel in its beak.

Filed under: Human Interest and Photography and Technology and Wildlife
Comments: None

Why We Home-School, Lesson #51
Posted on 03.02.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:45 pm

We believe the most important lessons in life are moral. Government-run schools long ago stopped feigning even the slightest interest in acknowledging God, let alone teaching biblically based values, and now most of them are even worse. They actively promote competing worldviews like moral relativism:

Our public schools teach students that all claims are either facts or opinions and that all value and moral claims fall into the latter camp. The punchline: There are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths. …

Facts are things that are true. Opinions are things we believe. Some of our beliefs are true. Others are not. Some of our beliefs are backed by evidence. Others are not. Value claims are like any other claims: either true or false, evidenced or not. The hard work lies not in recognizing that at least some moral claims are true but in carefully thinking through our evidence for which of the many competing moral claims is correct.

Justin McBrayer, the college professor who penned those words in The New York Times, isn’t down on public schools. He simply encourages educators to be morally responsible in the way they teach impressionable students. But no such sea change is likely to occur in U.S. public schools anytime soon, so homeschooling often is the wiser option.

(Read previous “Why We Home-School” lessons.)

Filed under: Government and Religion and Why We Home-School
Comments: None

The Poor Man’s Diet: Potatoes And Tap Water
Posted on 02.25.15 by Danny Glover @ 8:52 pm

This personal finance philosophy, preached by a blogger who retired at age 30 and calls himself Mr. Money Mustache, is the way I think:

If you have credit card debt, you should feel like your hair is on fire. You shouldn’t be eating anything beyond baked potatoes and tap water or doing anything besides working overtime and sleeping until you get out of that emergency. I’ve never been that frugal myself, but that’s because I have never gotten into credit card debt.

Now if only I could behave the way I think.

Filed under: Culture and People
Comments: None

A Girl Scout Named Mary Jane
Posted on 02.07.15 by Danny Glover @ 9:02 am

Back in the good old days, when potheads existed on the fringe of society, no one paid much attention to the pet names they gave their various drug concoctions. But now that marijuana has gone mainstream in 23 states and the District of Columbia, their sales gimmicks may start to matter.

A case in point: Girl Scout Cookies.

To the 2 million Girl Scouts and 800,000 adults who lead the troops, not to mention the millions of people who binge eat the sugary snacks, Girl Scout Cookies is the umbrella brand name for Do-si-dos, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and all the rest. Girl Scouts of the United States of America has been selling the cookies for decades, both to raise money and teach girls how to be entrepreneurs.

Every year at this time, scouts hit the streets (and now the Internet) to enlarge the empire, and newsrooms across the country dig for fresh angles to justify yet another round of cookie stories.

But to marijuana lovers, Girl Scout Cookies means something entirely different. I won’t get into the pharmacological specifics here, but the gist of it is that Girl Scout Cookies is a strain of Mary Jane that hit the market in California back in 2010 and quickly became popular. It has won multiple awards within the marijuana community.

I learned all of that this week when news broke of the first marijuana vending machine. The machine’s promo for “Girl Scout Cookies” jumped out at me and made me curious. It also caught the attention of the first customer, who bought one gram of Girl Scout Cookies for $15.

The question is what the Girl Scouts organization thinks of its signature brand being associated with a hallucinogenic drug. One scout caused a stir last year when she sold cookies outside a marijuana pot shop in California, but the new vending machines raise the stakes to a whole new level, one of intellectual property rights.

The head of American Green, the company that owns the machines, seemed surprised and defensive when a radio reporter grilled him about the legality of selling pot as Girl Scout Cookies. Stephen Shearin’s responses included:

  • “There are a number of ways one could interpret the words ‘Girl Scout Cookie.’ It doesn’t look like a cookie … it’s not packaged to be a cookie, and it’s sold in a controlled environment.”
  • “[I] assumed there was some kind of common language once things hit the common sphere. …
    It’s been in pretty common use for well over a year at hundreds of locations. Long before we touched anything.”

But now that the vending machines are getting national attention, the real Girl Scouts are taking the apparent copyright infringement seriously. A spokesman told the station, “Girl Scouts of the USA is aware of our trademark being misappropriated. We take these trademark misappropriations seriously and, when applicable, will send a cease and desist.”

Filed under: Advertising and Business and Culture and News & Politics
Comments: 1 Comment

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