Category Archives: Atheists

Yale U. professor: Darwinian theory of evolution cannot explain the origin of species

In a recent article published in the Spring 2019 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, David Gelernter, professor of computer science at Yale University, maintains that the Darwinian theory of evolution is not just accepted as “settled truth,” it is “the basis of a worldview” and a “replacement religion”.

The problem is this: Although called a “theory,” Darwinism is not a scientific theory because it neither predicts nor explains what it means to explain, which is the actual origin of species, because:

  1. Darwinian evolution is “gradual, step by step” as new life forms evolve gradually from old ones “in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life.” However, fossils of those predecessors of new life forms cannot be found. Instead, the fossil record shows the opposite: “In general, most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” During the Cambrian explosion of around half a billion years ago, for example, the fossil record shows that a striking variety of new organisms — including the first-ever animals — just “popped up suddenly”.
  2. At the molecular biology level, according to Darwinism, evolution is the consequence, over millions of years, of small good-for-survival (“natural selection”) mutations to genetic information within cells which are passed on to the next generation(s), thus changing the future of the species. Inventing a new gene by mutation requires inventing or creating a new protein. But it has been calculated that the mathematical odds of creating a new protein stable enough to be useful are zero, which means that the odds of producing “a single promising mutation in the whole history of life” is also zero. 

Gelernter concludes that “The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer.” That intelligent designer did not act just once, but “interferes repeatedly,” which suggests (what Thomas Aquinas called) “the first cause” must have a purpose — “some sense of the big picture of life on earth.”

David Gelernter

Below are excerpts from Gelernter’s essay, “Giving Up Darwinism“:

Darwinian evolution is . . . basic to the credo that defines the modern worldview. Accepting the theory as settled truth—no more subject to debate than the earth being round or the sky blue or force being mass times acceleration—certifies that you are devoutly orthodox in your scientific views; which in turn is an essential first step towards being taken seriously in any part of modern intellectual life. But what if Darwin was wrong?

Like so many others, I grew up with Darwin’s theory, and had always believed it was true….

Charles Darwin explained monumental change by making one basic assumption—all life-forms descend from a common ancestor—and adding two simple processes anyone can understand: random, heritable variation and natural selection . . . conceived to be operating blindly over hundreds of millions of years….

Yet there are many reasons to doubt whether he can answer the hard questions and explain the big picture—not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones. The origin of species is exactly what Darwin cannot explain.

Stephen Meyer’s thoughtful and meticulous Darwin’s Doubt (2013) convinced me that Darwin has failed. He cannot answer the big question. Two other books are also essential: The Deniable Darwin and Other Essays (2009), by David Berlinski, and Debating Darwin’s Doubt (2015), an anthology edited by David Klinghoffer…. These three form a fateful battle group that most people would rather ignore. Bringing to bear the work of many dozen scientists over many decades, Meyer, who after a stint as a geophysicist in Dallas earned a Ph.D. in History and Philosophy of Science from Cambridge and now directs the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture, disassembles the theory of evolution piece by piece. Darwin’s Doubt is one of the most important books in a generation. Few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact.

Meyer doesn’t only demolish Darwin; he defends a replacement theory, intelligent design (I.D.) … [but]  never uses religious arguments, draws religious conclusions, or refers to religion in any way….

Some I.D.-haters have shown themselves willing to use any argument—fair or not, true or not, ad hominem or not—to keep this dangerous idea locked in a box forever. They remind us of the extent to which Darwinism is no longer just a scientific theory but the basis of a worldview, and an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one….

Darwin himself had reservations about his theory, shared by some of the most important biologists of his time. And the problems that worried him have only grown more substantial over the decades. In the famous “Cambrian explosion” of around half a billion years ago, a striking variety of new organisms—including the first-ever animals—pop up suddenly in the fossil record over a mere 70-odd million years. This great outburst followed many hundreds of millions of years of slow growth and scanty fossils, mainly of single-celled organisms, dating back to the origins of life roughly three and half billion years ago.

Darwin’s theory predicts that new life forms evolve gradually from old ones in a constantly branching, spreading tree of life. Those brave new Cambrian creatures must therefore have had Precambrian predecessors, similar but not quite as fancy and sophisticated…. Each must have had a closely related predecessor, which must have had its own predecessors: Darwinian evolution is gradual, step-by-step. All those predecessors must have come together, further back, into a series of branches leading down to the (long ago) trunk.

But those predecessors of the Cambrian creatures are missing. Darwin himself was disturbed by their absence from the fossil record. He believed they would turn up eventually. Some of his contemporaries (such as the eminent Harvard biologist Louis Agassiz) held that the fossil record was clear enough already, and showed that Darwin’s theory was wrong. Perhaps only a few sites had been searched for fossils, but they had been searched straight down. The Cambrian explosion had been unearthed, and beneath those Cambrian creatures their Precambrian predecessors should have been waiting—and weren’t. In fact, the fossil record as a whole lacked the upward-branching structure Darwin predicted.

The trunk was supposed to branch into many different species, each species giving rise to many genera, and towards the top of the tree you would find so much diversity that you could distinguish separate phyla—the large divisions (sponges, mosses, mollusks, chordates, and so on) that comprise the kingdoms of animals, plants, and several others—take your pick. But, as Berlinski points out, the fossil record shows the opposite: “representatives of separate phyla appearing first followed by lower-level diversification on those basic themes.” In general, “most species enter the evolutionary order fully formed and then depart unchanged.” The incremental development of new species is largely not there. Those missing pre-Cambrian organisms have still not turned up.

Some researchers have guessed that those missing Precambrian precursors were too small or too soft-bodied to have made good fossils. Meyer notes that fossil traces of ancient bacteria and single-celled algae have been discovered: smallness per se doesn’t mean that an organism can’t leave fossil traces…. The story is similar for soft-bodied organisms…many fossils of soft-bodied organisms and body parts do exist. Precambrian fossil deposits have been discovered in which tiny, soft-bodied embryo sponges are preserved—but no predecessors to the celebrity organisms of the Cambrian explosion.

This sort of negative evidence can’t ever be conclusive. But the ever-expanding fossil archives don’t look good for Darwin, who made clear and concrete predictions that have (so far) been falsified….

Darwin’s main problem, however, is molecular biology. There was no such thing in his own time. We now see from inside what he could only see from outside….

Darwin’s theory is simple to grasp…variation occurs naturally among individuals of the same type—white or black sheep…. A sheep born with extra-warm wool will presumably do better at surviving a rough Scottish winter than his normal-wooled friends. Such a sheep would be more likely than normal sheep to live long enough to mate, and pass on its superior trait to the next generation. Over millions of years, small good-for-survival variations accumulate, and eventually (says Darwin) you have a brand new species….

[M]olecular biology…explains (it doesn’t merely cite) natural variation, as the consequence of random change or mutation to the genetic information within cells that deal with reproduction. Those cells can pass genetic change onward to the next generation, thus changing—potentially—the future of the species and not just one individual’s career….

But what does generating new forms of life entail? Many biologists agree that generating a new shape of protein is the essence of it. Only if… Darwinian evolution is creative enough to do that is it capable of creating new life-forms and pushing evolution forward….

Inventing a new protein means inventing a new gene…. Genes spell out the links of a protein chain, amino acid by amino acid. Each gene is a segment of DNA….

Your task is to invent a new gene by mutation—by the accidental change of one codon to a different codon…. But if you mutate your way to an actual, valid new gene, your new gene can create a new protein and thereby, potentially, play a role in evolution….

Douglas Axe did a series of experiments to estimate how many 150-long chains are capable of stable folds—of reaching the final step in the protein-creation process (the folding) and of holding their shapes long enough to be useful. (Axe is a distinguished biologist with five-star breeding: he was a graduate student at Caltech, then joined the Centre for Protein Engineering at Cambridge…. He estimated that, of all 150-link amino acid sequences, 1 in 1074 will be capable of folding into a stable protein. To say that your chances are 1 in 1074 is no different, in practice, from saying that they are zero. It’s not surprising that your chances of hitting a stable protein that performs some useful function, and might therefore play a part in evolution, are even smaller. Axe puts them at 1 in 1077.

In other words…The odds bury you. It can’t be done…. The odds against blind Darwinian chance having turned up even one mutation with the potential to push evolution forward are 1040x(1/1077)—1040 tries, where your odds of success each time are 1 in 1077—which equals 1 in 1037. In practical terms, those odds are still zero. Zero odds of producing a single promising mutation in the whole history of life. Darwin loses….

You don’t turn up a useful protein merely by doodling on the back of an envelope, any more than you write a Mozart aria by assembling three sheets of staff paper and scattering notes around. Profound biochemical knowledge is somehow, in some sense, captured in every description of a working protein. Where on earth did it all come from?….

There are many other problems besides proteins. One of the most basic, and the last I’ll mention here, calls into question the whole idea of gene mutations driving macro-evolution—the emergence of new forms of organism, versus mere variation on existing forms.

To help create a brand new form of organism, a mutation must affect a gene that does its job early and controls the expression of other genes that come into play later on as the organism grows. But mutations to these early-acting “strategic” genes, which create the big body-plan changes required by macro-evolution, seem to be invariably fatal. They kill off the organism long before it can reproduce. This is common sense. Severely deformed creatures don’t ever seem fated to lead the way to glorious new forms of life. Instead, they die young….

Meyer explains: “genes that are obviously variable within natural populations seem to affect only minor aspects of form and function—while those genes that govern major changes, the very stuff of macroevolution, apparently do not vary or vary only to the detriment of the organism.”….

Darwin would easily have understood that minor mutations are common but can’t create significant evolutionary change; major mutations are rare and fatal….

The exceptional intricacy of living things, and their elaborate mechanisms for fitting precisely into their natural surroundings, seemed to cry out for an intelligent designer…now that we understand so much cellular biology, and the impossibly long odds facing any attempt to design proteins by chance, or assemble the regulatory mechanisms that control the life cycle of a cell….

If Meyer were invoking a single intervention by an intelligent designer at the invention of life, or of consciousness, or rationality, or self-aware consciousness, the idea might seem more natural. But then we still haven’t explained the Cambrian explosion. An intelligent designer who interferes repeatedly, on the other hand, poses an even harder problem of explaining why he chose to act when he did. Such a cause would necessarily have some sense of the big picture of life on earth. What was his strategy? How did he manage to back himself into so many corners, wasting energy on so many doomed organisms? Granted, they might each have contributed genes to our common stockpile—but could hardly have done so in the most efficient way. What was his purpose? And why did he do such an awfully slipshod job? Why are we so disease prone, heartbreak prone, and so on? An intelligent designer makes perfect sense in the abstract. The real challenge is how to fit this designer into life as we know it. Intelligent design might well be the ultimate answer. But as a theory, it would seem to have a long way to go.

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Only a few will be saved

Luke 13:22-30

Jesus passed through towns and villages,
teaching as he went and making his way to Jerusalem.
Someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?”
He answered them,
“Strive to enter through the narrow gate,
for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter
but will not be strong enough.
After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door,
then will you stand outside knocking and saying,
‘Lord, open the door for us.’
He will say to you in reply,
‘I do not know where you are from.
And you will say,
‘We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.’
Then he will say to you,
‘I do not know where you are from.
Depart from me, all you evildoers!’
And there will be wailing and grinding of teeth
when you see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
and all the prophets in the kingdom of God
and you yourselves cast out.
And people will come from the east and the west
and from the north and the south
and will recline at table in the kingdom of God.
For behold, some are last who will be first,
and some are first who will be last.”

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study found that:

  • More than 7-in-10 (72%) Americans believed in heaven — defined as “where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded” — only 2% fewer than in 2007.
  • A larger majority (82%) of religiously-affiliated Americans believed in heaven:
    • 85% of Christians in 2017, 2% more than in 2007:
      • 84% of Protestants
      • 82% of Catholics
      • 74% of Orthodox Christians
    • Among non-Christian religions, 95% of Mormons, 85% of Muslims, 51% of Hindus, 38% of Jews, and 36% of Buddhists believed in heaven.
  • In contrast, 37% of Americans who were religiously-unaffiliated or “nones” believed in heaven. Of those, only 5% of atheists and 14% of agnostics believed.

Note: The 2014 Pew survey also found that religious “nones” outnumbered Christians among Democrats and Democratic-leaning adults, and that although the “nones” had increased among Republicans, they were still outnumbered by Christians, especially by evangelicals.

According to a 2016 LifeWay Research survey of 3,000 U.S. adults with a 95% confidence level and a margin of error of ±2%, a majority (60%) said everyone eventually goes to heaven, including 64% of evangelical Christians. Indeed, a 2005 ABC News poll had found that among the 89% of Americans who believed in Heaven, 85% thought they would personally go there, such is our preening narcissism.

Today’s Gospel reading from Luke 13, however, is a sober reminder that we flatter ourselves when we imagine we are destined for Heaven, for our Lord Jesus Christ said the gate is “narrow” and many “will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough.”

Recall that although we read and hear about near-death experiences (NDE) of what appears to be Heaven, there are NDE accounts of being in a dark place, full of demons. As an example, during his 2004 quadruple bypass surgery, Bill Clinton had a frightening NDE in which he found himself in a dark hellish place. As he recounted in an interview on ABC’s Primetime Live:

“I saw, like, dark masks crushing, like, death masks being crushed, in series, and then I’d see these great circles of light and then, like, Hillary’s picture or Chelsea’s face would appear on the light, and then they’d fly off into the dark.”

See:

The road to Heaven is a rigorous and demanding one. Afterall, Jesus did say “I have come to set the earth on fire” (Luke 12:49). So we are to look upon our life on this mortal coil as a trial by fire, wherein we must rid “ourselves of every burden and sin that clings to us” (Hebrews 12:1).

Hebrews 12:5-7, 11-13

Brothers and sisters,
You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children:
“My son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;
for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;
he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,
all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.

Only the holy go to Heaven.

I want to be holy, and I want you all to be holy. So let’s help each other trod that hard and “narrow” path of goodness, no matter the slings and arrows, the trials and tribulations. And at all times, “keep our eyes fixed on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:1, 2), and tell Him you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

Rejoice that we have lived to see another glorious Sunday!

And may the love and peace and joy and goodness of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

See also:

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Saturday Funnies!

. . . and political truth memes.

~Eowyn

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Atheist loses lawsuit to remove ‘In God We Trust’ from U.S. currency

A piece of good news, at last, in the contemporary American wasteland.

Do you remember a man named Michael Newdow?

Newdow, 65, is the Californian atheist who’s been jamming the courts with lawsuits.

Newdow’s most recent lawsuit was to have “In God We Trust” removed from U.S. currency on the grounds that the motto is a government endorsement of religion and so violates the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment. Last year, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Newdow — the judges found that the motto on currency “comports with early understandings of the Establishment Clause” and did not coerce people into practicing a religion.

See DCG’s “Lawsuit demands US remove ‘In God We Trust’ from money“.

“In God We Trust” was first put on an American coin in 1864, and added to both coins and paper bills in 1955. A year after, in 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law making the phrase the national motto.

Leah Klett reports for Christian Post, citing Fox News, that on June 10, 2019, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, Newdow’s appeal.

In 2013, Newdow had partnered with the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation to sue the U.S. Treasury over the motto on currency. In his petition to the Supreme Court, Nedow, a lawyer whose clients are other atheists, had argued that:

  • The government violated his clients’ “sincere religious belief” that there is no God and turned them into “political outsiders” by placing the phrase “In God We Trust” on their money.
  • The placement of “In God We Trust” on money “has real effects on real children” and subjects atheist children to the same sufferings  historically endured by black children as “second class citizens”.

In the words of Newdow’s petition, which refers to “God” as “G-d” — a Jewish practice:

Petitioners are atheists. As such, they fervidly disagree with the religious idea that people should trust in G-d. On the contrary, their sincere religious belief is that trusting in any G-d is misguided. Defendants have conditioned receipt of the important benefit of using the nation’s sole ‘legal tender’ upon conduct proscribed by Petitioners’ atheism (i.e., upon Petitioners’ personally bearing – and proselytizing – a religious message that is directly contrary to the central idea that underlies their religious belief system).

Unless this Court ends the flagrant governmental preference for belief in G-d (and the implicit concomitant denigration of Atheism), the organizations, adults and children bringing this case will spend the rest of their lives – as they have spent their lives so far – as secondclass citizens.

Mat Staver, founder and chairman of religious liberty law firm Liberty Counsel, praised the court’s rejection of Newdow’s petition: “Our national motto ‘In God We Trust’ has been on all U.S. currency for more than 60 years and it will remain there, despite ridiculous attempts by atheists to remove it.”

Newdow’s past litigation includes:

  • Several failed litigation challenges against the “under God” phrase in the U.S. Pledge of Allegiance. In 2004, after suing for the removal of “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance, his case was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court. But the court did not decide on the merits of the case but instead said Newdow had no standing to sue. See my post, “‘Under God’ stays in Pledge of Allegiance“.
  • Attempts to stop prayers being read at the inauguration of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
  • Attempts to prevent government leaders from saying the phrase “So help me God” in the 2009, 2013, and 2017 presidential inaugurations.

See also:

~Eowyn

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Smash the Church and the Gospel spreads quicker

The demons that empowered the Bolsheviks still have one objective: Hurt the Lord by hurting His people


Newsweek: CHINA DEMOLISHES ANOTHER CHURCH, SPARKING FEARS OF CAMPAIGN AGAINST CHRISTIANITY

by Christina Zhao – 01/11/2018

“The Golden Lampstand, a well-known Evangelical megachurch in the city of Linfen, Shanxi province, was dramatically demolished with explosives on Tuesday…”

“Last December, the only Catholic Church in Zhifang, a village near Shaanxi, was destroyed for no apparent reason, 20 years after it opened…”

Read article at https://www.newsweek.com/china-demolishes-another-church-sparking-fears-campaign-against-christianity-777931


As cunning as the devil’s minions are, they are too self deceived to learn that this tactic fails every time

  • Jesus crucified – Result: a new and better Covenant
  • Jerusalem Church crushed – Result: gospel spreads through all Judea and Samaria
  • Jews oppress Paul –  Result: Paul spreads gospel to Rome

Moving forward we see the same principle

China strikes the church, thinking this will break them. Real result, Christians meet quietly in very small numbers, and many more are converted. Why? Because the message spreads much better in quiet earnest conversations and prayers than in big meetings. People aren’t dazzled into the kingdom by massive meetings, they are loved into the family God one at a time.

We see the same devils attempting to move into position the crush the church in America

The LGBT movement is trying to make it a crime to use the wrong gender pronoun. They are still trying to set up bakers in positions where they end up crossing the law when their conscience forbids working for gay weddings.

And the satanic principalities of the Bolsheviks 100 years ago are plainly at work in AOC and Bernie Sanders today, with the same genocidal intent.

And let’s not even waste time on the subject of Fake News.

Last night my dreams troubled me 

As I searched my thoughts for help I remembered a scripture that has brought me peace on many dark nights during the past 40+ years of my christian walk, and it worked for me this morning.

Romans 8:35-38 answers these threats with comfort and encouragement: 

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

‘For your sake we face death all day long; 
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.’ 

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

PEACE

~ TD

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What Putin Thinks of Lenin

Here are the Russian President’s thoughts on the Bolsheviks, in his own words.

Vladimir Putin is an enigma to America, largely because we have not heard from him directly, but been told by Fake News what we should think about him.

I am not campaigning for him, but looking on with curiosity. And I am grateful that Russia now acknowledges the Orthodox Church as its soul once again. I don’t like the laws forbidding evangelism in recent years, but recognize that the shift from militant atheism to Christianity is huge.

Like Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin has thrown off the yoke of bondage to the international puppeteers. Both men have thwarted assassination attempts, likely from the same shadowy people who would be our rulers.

Lord, help us to navigate this time in history with your wisdom.

~ TD

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SJW Love Fest at Seattle Pacific University

WARNING: Watch this only if you have 2 hours of time to waste being completely pissed off.

The Players: an assortment of self-loathing white leftists

They are celebrating the first year of their new Social Justice Major at the university. The women and men in the audience are mostly white, an assortment of people interchangeable at any Peter, Paul and Mary concert on PBS. We know them. The women have that smug, smarter-than-the-world smirk, and all the males have been properly gelded, not a functioning testicle in sight…

…with the one exception of the properly licensed testicle operator,
the sanctioned Fearless Leader and tonight’s speaker, Tim Wise.

Tim Wise, like Noel Ignatiev before him, has made his bones prosecuting the inborn guilt of white people (especially white men).

He has books to sell at the back of the auditorium. Tim’s favorite SJW crowd pleaser: White Like Me: Reflections on Race From a Privileged Son. And there is a new favorite: White Lies Matter: Race, Crime, and the Politics of Fear in America. Along with these you can purchase from an assortment of other essays, sure to grant clemency to a white Liberal seeking redemption from the inherent evil of his/her DNA.

Did I mention that Tim Wise recently spoke at Harvard University, and opined that Christians should be locked up because they can’t function in the real world? 

Yeah, he said that. And he even used Noel Ignativ’s favorite excuse,
“I was just kidding… but maybe not.”

This hits extra close to home for me, as a relative near and dear to me has given up on college after 3 and a half years. He told me that at his new college he has been told in all kinds of ways that he is the enemy of everything good, for the reason that he is white and male, and worst of all, a Christian. He is a clear headed critical thinker, and that too has brought the wrath on him.

My relative had thought it would be good to see what’s happening at the historic college chapel with the Christian student club. The Christian club turned out to be invisible, either nonexistent or in hiding. And the historic chapel was being used for drag queen shows. Demons always like to throw a party when they can desecrate a formerly holy place; no exception here.

Tim Wise, like Noel Ignatiev, is of Russian Jewish descent, and they are both atheists.

Let’s add this up. They preach the same message. They have direct ancestors reaching back to the Bolshevik Revolution 100 years ago. Their actions are not those of honest debate and scholarship, but the actions of an agent provocateur, each lecture, a Molotov Cocktail of incitement to violent revolution. Looks like the very same principalities that deceived Russia 100 years ago are making a 100th anniversary attempt to repeat their success now in America.

So relieved I’m not white!
Wait! I am white?!!! 

Guess I had better run and hide. (NOT) No, we “white people” of all colors are ready to stand and fight, be it in the physical or the spiritual:

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds. Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
– 2 Corinthians 10:4

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Peace Cross Case Heads to US Supreme Court – Why Much More Than One Cross Is on the Line

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case about whether a the nearly 100-year-old, cross-shaped war memorial in Maryland known as Peace Cross violates the Constitution because is on government property. The case of the monument, located in the Bladensburg community of Prince George’s County, could impact hundreds of similar monuments nationwide.

First Liberty Institute is defending the cross. One of its lawyers, Jeremy Dys, told CBN News, “This case is very important for a variety of reasons. Because this area of the law is right now – as Justice (Clarence) Thomas has said – in hopeless disarray. And so there’s really needing some clarity for this.”

The legal team  believes this could be the most crucial religious liberty case the Supreme Court handles this term. That’s because if the high court eventually decides this cross has to go, it could affect thousands of other crosses, including crosses on all federal cemeteries such as  the national cometary at Arlington.

But if the justices make a broad ruling favoring the cross and other objects like it, it could put an end to judges and bureaucrats deciding – somewhat haphazardly – if a religious symbol or display is too religious or secular enough to be left alone by secular authorities.

That possibility has opponents of the cross worried about the court setting a precedent that could counter future efforts to eradicate religious symbols–especially Christian symbols– from public display.

The District of Columbia-based American Humanist Association has led the challenge against the monument. The organization and three area residents sued Maryland officials in 2014 in an attempt to have the monument torn down. They say that the cross “discriminates against patriotic soldiers who are not Christian, sending a callous message to non-Christians that Christians are worthy of veneration while they may as well be forgotten.” And they point out that other nearby memorials are smaller and across the street from the cross.

One of the people who brought the original case against the cross – Steven Lowe of the American Humanist Association – told CBN News, “The government on this piece of property is favoring a religion with this huge symbol. When you come across the bridge or approach it from any of the highways, you see nothing but this huge Christian cross.”

Journalist Renee Green spoke with Lowe and other cross opponents for her documentary “Save the Peace Cross.” In it, United Coalition of Reason officer Fred Edwords stated, “It gives the impression of Christianity and nothing else. And it gives the impression of government endorsement of Christianity.”

And Lowe told Green, “The existence of a memorial on public land is not a problem. It is just the use of the Christian cross as part of that memorial that we find contrary to the First Amendment and separation of church and state.”

Edwords added, “It looks for all the world like, ‘Okay, this is either the state of Maryland or the city of Bladensburg endorsing one religion.'”

In the suit against the cross, one atheist said he was traumatized driving by it. Green appears on camera in her documentary to point out that many telephone poles are in the shape of a cross.

“If the plaintiffs win this lawsuit, will all the telephone poles need to be modified?” Green asks, tongue-in-cheek. She adds, “I just hope they’re not traumatized by telephone poles while driving.”

The Peace Cross has drawn the support of Maryland’s governor and senators. Over the summer the state of Maryland filed an amicus brief in support of the petition to the Supreme Court, and Gov. Larry Hogan said the state was “determined to fight all the way to the highest court in the land to keep it standing tall and proud.”

The Peace Cross was completed in 1925, and it honors 49 men from the surrounding county who died in World War I. A plaque on the cross’ base lists the names of those soldiers, and both faces of the cross have a circle with the symbol of the American Legion, the veterans organization that helped raise money to build it.

Today, responsibility for the cross falls to a Maryland parks commission that took over ownership and maintenance of it in 1961 because of traffic safety concerns.

~ Grif

The first amendment/the first enumerated right:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

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Sunday Devotional: Blessed are you when people hate you

Luke 6:17, 20, 22-23, 26-28

Jesus came down with the twelve….
And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said:
“…Blessed are you when people hate you,
and when they exclude and insult you,
and denounce your name as evil
on account of the Son of Man.
Rejoice and leap for joy on that day!
Behold, your reward will be great in heaven.
For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way….
Woe to you when all speak well of you,
for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.
But to you who hear I say,
love your enemies,
do good to those who hate you,
bless those who curse you,
pray for those who mistreat you.”

On June 28, 2006, then-Senator Barack Obama famously proclaimed, “Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation”.

Eight years of his presidency only worked to further de-Christianize America, seen most vividly among the young in the graph below (source: Washington Post).

In 2014, 82% of Americans 65 and older, but only 57% of Americans 18-29 identified themselves as Christians. Younger Americans increasingly identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated: 34% of those ages 18-29  vs. 11% of those 65 and older. As recently as the 1990s, less than 1 in 10 Americans claimed no religious affiliation. By 2014, the religiously unaffiliated increased to 22% of the U.S. population. According to Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America, by 2051, if current trends continue, religiously unaffiliated Americans could comprise as large a percentage of the population as all Protestants combined — a thought that would have been unimaginable just a few decades ago.

Nature abhors a vacuum.

What the graph and Jones fail to address is that, as Americans increasingly become religiously unaffiliated, witchcraft and satanism are surging:

As Christianity wanes, come the concomitant discriminaton against and persecution of Christians: bakers, teachers, Salvation Army bell-ringers. The homosexual director of Disney’s “Beauty and Beast” declared wanting to rip the Bible to pieces. Sen. Bernie Sanders actually said faithful Christians are racist bigots, unfit for public office. In fact, a 2017 report confirmed that the U.S. government’s hostility toward Christianity spiked under President Obama.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that we are hated and abused, for “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you.” (John 15:18)

For that hatred, we are told to “rejoice and leap for joy”. As Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:

Thus says the LORD:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Be strong!

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Racial, gender, age, education and religious differences in 2018 midterm elections

Using exit poll data by the National Election Pool, as reported by CNN, Pew Research Center determined that “The stark demographic and educational divisions that have come to define
American politics were clearly evident in voting preferences in the
2018 congressional elections.”

Reporting for Pew on November 8, 2018, Alec Tyson describes those divisions:

  • Nationally, voters favored Democratic candidates for Congress over
    Republican candidates by a margin of about 7%.
  • Gender: Women generally favored Democratic candidates by 19% (59% to 40%) while men voted for Republicans 51% to
    47%. As was the case in the 2016 presidential election, white men voted
    Republican by a wide margin (60% to 39%) while white women were evenly divided
    (49% favored Democrats; 49% supported Republicans).
  • Race: Whereas Whites favored Republicans over Democrats by 54% vs. 44%, Blacks voted overwhelmingly (90%) for Democrats,
    including comparable shares of black men (88%) and black women (92%). Hispanics favored Democrats over Republicans 69% v. 29%. Asians favored Democrats over Republicans 77% v. 23%.
  • College education: When gender, race and education are considered together, women college
    graduates stand out for their strong preference for the Democratic
    candidate (59% favored the Democrat while just 39% voted Republican).
    Whites with less education – particularly men – supported the
    Republican. White men who do not have a college degree voted Republican
    by about two-to-one (66% to 32%).
  • Age: The age divide in voting, which barely existed in the early 2000s, also
    is large. Majorities of voters ages 18 to 29 (67%) and 30 to 44 (58%)
    favored the Democratic candidate. Voters ages 45 and older were divided
    (50% Republican, 49% Democrat).
  • Trump: The national exit poll found that more voters said their midterm vote
    was to oppose Trump (38%) than said it was to support him (26%); 33%
    said Trump was not a factor in their vote. The midterm vote also was
    highly correlated with views of Trump’s job performance: Among those who
    approved of the president (45% of all voters), 88% voted for the
    Republican. Among the larger share who disapproved (54%), an
    overwhelming percentage voted Democratic (90%).
  • Anti-White: Overall, 41% of voters said whites in the country today are favored over
    minorities; 19% said that minorities are favored over whites, while 33%
    said that no group is favored.  Among those who said whites are favored in the U.S., 87% voted for
    Democrats. By contrast, large majorities of those who said minorities
    are favored (85%) or that no group is favored (69%) voted for Republican
    candidates.
  • #MeToo: 72% of those who said sexual harassment it is a very serious problem supported Democratic
    candidates. Among those who said it was a somewhat serious problem,
    Republican candidates held a slim edge (50% vs. 48%). And while
    relatively few voters said sexual harassment is not too serious a
    problem (11%), this group voted overwhelmingly Republican (79% vs. 20%).

In a report on November 7, 2018, Pew Research found that “A preliminary analysis of the 2018 midterm elections finds considerable
continuity from 2014 and 2010 in the voting patterns of several key religious groups“:

  • Three-quarters (75%) of white voters who describe themselves as
    evangelical or born-again Christians (a group that includes Protestants,
    Catholics and members of other faiths) voted for Republican House
    candidates.
  • 7-in-10 no religions voted for the Democratic candidate in their congressional district.
  • 8-in-10 Jewish voters (79%) cast their ballots for Democrats.
  • This year, Catholic voters were evenly split between the parties: 50%
    favored the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district, while
    49% favored the GOP’s nominee. In the past two midterm elections (2014
    and 2010), however, Catholics had favored Republican candidates by margins
    of roughly 10%.
  • Among Protestants, 56% voted for Republican congressional candidates and
    42% backed Democrats.
  • Among those who identify with faiths other than
    Christianity and Judaism
    (including Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus and many
    others), 73% voted for Democratic congressional candidates while 25%
    supported Republicans.
  • Church attendance: Voters who say they attend religious services at least once a week
    backed Republican candidates over Democrats in their congressional
    districts by an 18-point margin. Those who attend services less often
    tilted in favor of the Democratic Party, including two-thirds (68%) of those who say they never attend worship services.

~Eowyn

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