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Religion Archives

Three years old!

Three years old!

This is the Consider This podcast, which recently passed its third anniversary, bringing you conservative commentary, and your feedback, in 10-minute-or-less chunks, since June 14th of 2012. I’ve left the terrible twos and am entering the thrilling threes! And just like the 1st and 2nd anniversaries, the time limit might just take a holiday for this episode.

I’ve got kind of a general topic for this anniversary. I’m going to explain, not why I’m conservative, but why I’m not a liberal. The launching point for this will be what seems to me the Liberal Utopia society would be, and why it doesn’t really work or why I believe that some features are really problems.

Mentioned links:

List of countries by energy consumption per capita

Consumption by the United States

The top 1% and what they pay

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How much news is really opinion?

How much news is really opinion?

Another media reporter, Lisa Meyers, has spoken out on the problem she sees in her former profession; journalism. While she may not have al the same issues as Sharyl Attkisson had, her concern is very similar. The media are taking sides.

Some might consider that Fox News is the major culprit, but Sharyl was from CBS and Lisa is from NBC, and both speak primarily to what they experienced themselves. And if you’re peeved at how Fox does news, there’s a way to fix that, which involves building a better “fox-trap”.

I discussed the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act last time, but this time I have a great example of what RFRA is not going to protect. Actual discrimination against people is not covered. Refusal to participate in an event might still be. Two very different things.

Mentioned links:

Lisa Myers: TV journalism deteriorating

Fox News is the most trusted national news channel. And it’s not that close.

Michigan Auto Shop Owner Faces Backlash After Declaring He Won’t Serve Gays

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Once hailed, RFRA now considered bigoted.

Once hailed, RFRA now considered bigoted.

Indiana has come under intense fire from the Left for passing a law just like one that Bill Clinton signed in 1993, and was supported by conservative Christian groups, the ACLU, and People for the American Way, among other unlikely allies. More interestingly, it was supported in a huge way by Democrats.

That was then, this is now. What happened in the intervening decades? I explain it in this episode, as well as what RFRA really means. (Hint: it is not open season on gays.)

Mentioned links:

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Explained

Remember When Democrats Used To Support Religious Freedom?

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT RELIGIOUS FREEDOM RESTORATION ACTS

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We need to get specific on "violent extremism".

We need to get specific on “violent extremism”.

The Right got upset when the summit was called “Countering Violent Extremism”, not mentioning the very real, global threat we face today; Islamic extremism. What’s in a name? Well, if you won’t call it by name, you run the risk of ignoring the main threat and inflating other, smaller ones. The Administration has done just that.

Do you want a President who didn’t finish his last semester of college, or one that turned a state’s economy around? You can have both, actually.

Mentioned links:

DHS Reports: Greatest Threat Is Domestic Right-Wing Extremism, Not ISIS

DHS intelligence report warns of domestic right-wing terror threat

Scott Walker, college drop-out or kicked-out?

Howard Dean calls Scott Walker “unknowledgeable” over college degree question

Gov. Scott Walker reveals the secrets to Wisconsin’s $1 billion surplus

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Spending on nothing?

Spending on nothing?

In this episode, I talk about how the money spent on (literally) nothing will soon outpace defense spending, and not much later, non-defense spending as well. And no, it’s not some right-wing think tank making that prediction.

Also, is it possible to have a moral disagreement with someone, and yet not hate them? The Left seems to think that impossible, and Dana Bash questioned Mike Huckabee about it specifically. He schools her in the art of disagreeing without being disagreeable.

(OK, normally I don’t like it when someone says, “Hey, X really schooled Y!” when all X did is say something the speaker agrees with. Usually there’s not actual educating going on. But this time, there certainly is.)

Mentioned links:

The Legacy of Debt: Interest Costs Poised to Surpass Defense and Nondefense Discretionary Spending

CNN Confused: How Can Huckabee Oppose Gay Marriage AND Have Gay Friends?

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Drill, baby, drill! It worked.

Drill, baby, drill! It worked.

How about those low gas prices? Who can we thank for them? Well, a number of people, none of which, however, are in the Obama administration. The “Drill, baby, drill” policy of the states have worked; something that Obama said was a lie.

But first, a follow-up on a story last episode about the Atlanta fire chief that published a book with his Christians views, and was docked a month’s pay and suspended. Upon returning from that suspension, he was promptly fired. Another shot on the religious liberty front.

And finally, we have a bounty on the head of a terrorist that we used to have in Guantanamo. I think it might have cost less just to keep him incarcerated.

Mentioned links:

Reed: Atlanta fire chief terminated following book controversy

Klobuchar says U.S. is world’s No. 1 oil producer

Saudi Arabia’s $750 Billion Bet Drives Brent Oil Below $54

Fracking Debunks Obama’s ‘We Can’t Drill Our Way Out’

Oops! U.S. Offers $5 Mil Reward for Al Qaeda Terrorist it Released From Gitmo

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Episode 93: My Christmas Wishes for You

My gifts to you

My gifts to you

I’m a little under the weather, and my voice sounds like it. But one more episode for 2014.

I celebrate Christmas, and it’s interesting to see how so much of the world also celebrates it, while giving the religion from which it comes such a hard time the rest of the year. But getting beyond all that, I have some specific wishes for you this Christmas, no matter the holiday you do (or don’t) celebrate.

Thanks for listening in 2014, and may 2015 be a good year to consider this!

Mentioned links:

This Guy Cited His Christian Faith in Refusing to Make T-Shirts Advertising a Gay Pride Parade — and Now His Company Is Being Punished

City subpoenas pastors’ sermons in equal rights ordinance case

Houston mayor removes church sermons from subpoena request after outcry

Atlanta’s Fire Chief Suspended For Publicly Professing Christian Beliefs

Gay couple files complaint to challenge Methodist marriage ban

Govt tells Christian ministers: Perform same-sex weddings or face jail, fines

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The Pope is still Catholic

The Pope is still Catholic

If you think it sounds like this episode is going to delve more into religion that it has up until this point, you have a discerning ear. But when I started this podcast, I promised you a take on these issues that you might not have heard elsewhere. So, depending on the circles you run in, this could very well fit the bill; a Protestant defending Catholic doctrine using Jewish texts.

I posted an article to my social media audience from CNS News headlined, “No Unambiguity: Homosexual Acts Sinful and Disordered”. It’s an opinion piece that explains the Catholic Church’s position on homosexuality. I received a comment on the Google+ posting of it, with common misunderstandings that I thought I’d cover in the podcast. But 10 minutes or less is only enough to point you in the right direction, and so the links in the show notes will be very helpful.

Mentioned links:

No Unambiguity: Homosexual Acts Sinful and Disordered

Google+ conversation with Christopher Li-Reid

Bible Verses About Homosexuality

THE BEGINNER’S GUIDE TO INTERPRETING OLD TESTAMENT LAW

Does the Old Testament condone slavery?

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Crossroads; politics and religion

Crossroads; politics and religion

Gordon College has petitioned the government based on its religious beliefs, but the Mayor of Salem, Mass. wants to punish them for it. Religious tolerance isn’t what it used to be. Maybe this is payback for the Witch Trials.

Can you pray in a mall? Well, it depends on whether the mall owners will get called out on their decision in public.

Mentioned links:

GUILTY: For Just Being Christian

Understanding the Issues: Gordon College, Religious Liberty and Executive Order 13672

Are Christian Colleges free to be Christian?

Georgia mall not buying into group’s spiritual health, prayer

Hundreds Rally in Support of Right to Pray at Georgia Mall

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Celebrating the Hobby Lobby decision (AP)

Celebrating the Hobby Lobby decision (AP)

For this episode, I’m taking on just one topic; the “Hobby Lobby” case decided by the Supreme Court.

On Monday, June 30th, the Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision saying that companies that are “closely held”, as Hobby Lobby is, could opt out of the new ObamaCare requirement that they cover contraceptives for women, including drugs that induce abortions. Those on the Right were cheering this win for religious freedom, but it occurred to me that, since the vote was 5-4, we’re just one Supreme Court justice away from losing our religion, er, religious freedom. The ruling from the court did not couch it in First Amendment terms, per se, but make no mistake; had it gone the other way, it would have been a precedent for continued chipping away at this constitutional protecting. The whole idea that religion is something you can only practice in your house of worship – or “freedom of worship”, as it has be redefined by the Clintons and others on the Left – is what has brought us to this point.

What kinds of people or government consider religious liberty something to avoid? There are some countries out there that actively do that, but I’m not so sure we want to live in them.

Another part of the Hobby Lobby ruling you may not have heard about; a more strong affirmation that corporations can indeed have a religious component to them. From a story on Politico, “The court appeared to reject, 7-2, the Obama administration’s argument that for-profit companies cannot assert religious rights under RFRA.” RFRA stands for the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a law created by Democrats, which had massive bipartisan support, and was signed into law by President Clinton. Just remember that when you hear Democrats complain about the ruling based on a law they supported.

As previous guest to Consider This, Dale Franks, put it, “If you don’t want your employer making decisions about your health, then you probably shouldn’t ask them to pay for it.”

A couple other bits of information typically lost among the snarkiness coming from the Left include the fact that Hobby Lobby employees make significantly more than the minimum wage; $14 an hour is the minimum for full-time, and $9.50 for part time. So what contraceptives won’t be covered, they can certainly afford them on their own.

But the other not-so-well-known bit of info is that Hobby Lobby insurance already covers 16 out of 20 contraceptive methods on the ObamaCare list. The other 4 are generally after-the-fact, morning-after type that are, in the belief of the Green family that owns the company, tantamount to abortion. You want to prevent conception? They’re with you. You want to end a life? Eh, not so much.

Postscript: During the episode, you’ll hear me talk about some information from a ReligionNews.com article. In it, they cite a Kaiser Health Tracking Poll, released in April that said that a majority (55 percent) said yes, a for-profit business owner with religious objections to birth control be subject to the requirement, “even if it violates their owners’ personal religious beliefs”. However, I’ve recently seen a Weekly Standard article noting that a new Rasmussen poll finds that 49 percent of American voters support a religious exemption to the federal government’s contraception mandate, while 39 percent oppose such an exemption. They’re polls, so they really just measure attitudes at a point in time, and who knows what might have changed between April and June. Just an FYI.

Mentioned links:

Five takeaways from the Hobby Lobby case

SCOTUS sides with Hobby Lobby on birth control

Want birth control? Go buy it. Nobody is stopping you.

When you find out how much Hobby Lobby pays their employees tell every liberal you know

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