Spring 2000

Good News: Preserving Traditional Marriage!

In recent months, Vermont has become the center of
attention in the battle to recognize gay and lesbian “marriages.” In a blear
and egregious violation of the doctrine of separation of powers, the State
supreme court ordered the legislature to craft a bill either to recognize same
sex marriages or to provide “domestic partner” benefits. The judges
threatened to impose gay marriages on the State if the legislature did not act.

Most in the State disagreed with the court, and one poll
found that 79 percent of the State supreme court was the proper place to decide
the issue. In fact, in a recent straw poll at all fifty of Vermont’s recent
town meetings, same-sex marriages lost in every location; and even domestic
partnerships were rejected in forty-six of the fifty sites!

With this public opposition, it is not surprising that
carious attempts are underway to stop the court-ordered anti-marriage agenda in
Vermont. For example:

·
Twelve Vermont legislators have introduced a resolution calling
for the impeachment of the judges.

·
Citizens have delivered stacks of pro-traditional-marriage
petitions to the legislature.

·
A constitutional amendment is being introduced which would
maintain traditional marriage and set aside the court’s decision.
(Unfortunately, its necessary margin of two-thirds approval seems unlikely in
the liberal State senate.)

In the meantime, the legislature will pass some type of
same-sex marriage recognition – much to the chagrin of most of the State’s
voters. Yet, despite this one setback by the unelected Vermont court, voters
across America are sending a clear message on preserving traditional marriage.
For example, Hawaii’s voters overwhelming rejected same-sex marriages by a
margin of 70 percent to 30 percent: in California, a similar proposal was
rejected by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent: and, as already mentioned,
efforts to refine marriage in Vermont were rejected by citizens in every one of
their fifty town meetings!

Since many categorize these three States as among the most
socially liberal in the nation, and since there is a firm conviction – even in
these States – that traditional marriage and family must be preserved, this is
indeed heartening for the rest of America!

The Federal
Courts & Partial Birth Abortions

Representative Ron Paul of Texas has introduced a federal
bill (HR 3691) to remove from the federal courts any jurisdiction over
partial-birth abortions.

Why? Although twenty-nine States have banned the procedure
in the last four years, twenty federal judges have struck down the States laws.
In fact, currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court is a case in which the
Court will decide whether individual States even have the right to ban
partial-birth abortions.

Representative Paul is utilizing the Constitution’s
“exceptions clause” (Art. III, Sec. 2) which declares that the Supreme Court
has jurisdiction over matters of law and fact, but only “with such exceptions
and under such regulations as the Congress shall make.” His bill, therefore,
would “except” this issue from the jurisdiction of the federal courts. (To
see his bill, go to www.house.gov/paul/legis/106/hr3691/htm.)
Not surprisingly, this measure has the support of several of the State
legislatures which have already banned partial-birth abortions. In fact, several
of those legislatures have begun movements to petition the U.S. congress to use
the “exceptions clause” in just this way to keep the federal courts out of
this issue. (To see a copy of this State Resolution, see our website at www.wallbuilders.com.)

Laugh or
Cry?

I am convinced – and always try to communicate
in the WallBuilder Report – that God
is gracious, and that traditional values and pro-family forces are winning more
battles than we are losing. I witness this in my travels in every State in America
as I personally see hundreds of “good news” victories which are never reported
in mainstream media outlets.

Nevertheless, I do come across some stories that are so ridiculous –
and that demonstrate the extreme lengths to which the opposition must go in
order to preserve its agenda – that such stories somehow seem worth
mentioning. So, as you read these stories, don’t’ be discouraged; instead,
remember to do what God did in the face of opposition: laugh!


The wicked plot against the
righteous and gnash their teeth at them. Bu the Lord laughs
at the wicked, for He knows their day is coming! Psalms 37:12-13; 2:1-4.

·
In Washington State, 25 year-old Michelle Shocks was riding a
public bus and talking to a fellow Christian. The bus driver ordered that they
cease their private conversation about religion “since it could possible
be offensive to other riders.” The pair, therefore, in very low tones so no
one else would hear, resumed their private
conversation. The driver nevertheless stopped the bus and ordered the two off.
Michelle, five months pregnant, had to walk home more than a mile in the rain!

·
In Texas, a school program allowed local professionals –
including ministers – to counsel students. Although the program kept students
from knowing the profession of the counselors, and even though the counselors
were prohibited from wearing religious insignias or revealing their faith, and
were barred from praying with the students or from discussing controversial
topics such as religion, sex, or abortion, the Fifth Federal Circuit Court of
Appeals nevertheless ruled that the program impermissibly advanced religion!

·
In Denver, Colorado Springs, and Douglas County, Colorado, and in
Onalaska, Wisconsin, ordinances have been enacted that prohibit Bible studies
from occurring in private homes more often than once a month Residents in Denver
have even faced legal action for violating that ordinance!

·
In Oregon, Portland official have ordered that a church that holds
500 to limit its attendance to 70 worshippers because neighbors objected to the
church’s ministry of providing food for the homeless and the working poor. In
the nearby town of Jacksonville, city officials ruled that a church could not be
used for weddings or funerals. And in Texas, a city council ordered a Christian
church shut down because neighbors objected to its ministry!

·
In Maryland, State Senator Leo Green reintroduced his bill to make
it a misdemeanor “for a person in a matter within the jurisdiction of . . .
the Legislative Branch of the State government to knowingly and willfully
falsify or conceal a material fact [or] make a false, fictitious, or fraudulent
representation.” His bill continues to die in committee because, as explained
by Committee Chairman Joseph Vallario, “the measure [requiring truthful
testimony] could have a chilling effect on the willingness of people to
testify!”

·
In Washington, DC, Barry Lynn, head of Americans United for
Separation of Church and State, criticized as a “cynical effort” and a
“constitutional plague” the
movement in eight State legislatures to protect public displays of the Ten
Commandments (Indiana, South Dakota, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky,
Missouri, and Oklahoma).

·
In Oregon, some citizens object to the practice of displaying
small crosses at fatal crash sites in remembrance of victims. How have they
expressed their displeasure? At night, they anonymously replace the white
crosses with black ones, with swastikas, with symbols of “KKK,” or with the
infamous anti-Christ mark, 666. As one of them noted, “In order to sleep at
night, we had to do our part in the battle”!

·
In Washington State, a “Promise Scholarship” (a state academic
scholarship for bright students from low and middles income families) was
awarded to 19-year-old Joshua Davey. However, the State revoked his scholarship
when they found out he was majoring in pastoral ministries!

·
The Seventh Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a statue
of Jesus Christ which stands on private
property
was unconstitutional. Why? According to the court, people might
assume that the city, rather than private individuals, owned the
statue!

Christmas: Past & Present

Regrettably, Christmas has become a very controversial
holiday in recent years. This is not because citizens in general object to the
holiday but rather because a few dissenting Scrooges cannot stand someone else
celebrating Christmas in a traditional, religious fashion.

For example, schools, rather
than deal with narrow-minded dissenters, have generally changed “Christmas
Break” to the innocuous “Winter Break.” And textbooks are now abandoning
the traditional use of “BC” and “AD” and, rather than marking time from
the birth and life of Jesus Christ as has been done for centuries, they have now
adopted “BCE” and “ACE” – “Before the Common Era” and “After the
Common Era.” And what, pray tell, is the “Common Era”? Apparently,
centuries ago, the entire world, for no apparent reason, got together and came
to a “common” understanding that we should re-do the calendar – but mind
you, it had nothing to do with the life of Jesus Christ!

The secularization of Christmas has advanced so far that in the judicial
arena, in order for a judge to allow a traditional Christmas display or
celebration to appear publicly, that judge must convince all parties that
Christmas has no real religious significance. Such was the case in the recent
decision in a suit filed by atheist Richard Ganulin. In dismissing the law-suit,
the judge regrettably wrote, “The celebration of Christmas as a national
holiday cannot be viewed, by a reasonable person, as an endorsement of religion.
The holiday itself is so deeply imbued with secular connotations that, indeed,
its religious origins are lost on many.”

Fortunately, Governor James Gilmore of Virginia (unlike the federal
judges) apparently believes – as do millions of others – that Christmas is a religious holiday worth observing. He therefore issued the
following remarkable proclamation for last Christmas:


WHEREAS, Christmas is the Christian feast that celebrates the birth of
Jesus Christ, the Savior of all Christians throughout the world; and


WHEREAS, traditionally, families throughout our great Common-wealth
gather together during Christmas holidays, enjoying many customs including
choosing a Christmas tree, participating in Christmas Pageants, singing playing
Christmas carols, and exchanging gifts; and


WHEREAS, Advent and
Christmas traditions and symbols prevail throughout the holiday season, and by
their presence they bring to mind dearly held Christian values and beliefs
presently under attack in our modern culture, most importantly the belief that
in Jesus Christ all people are saved from sin and promised everlasting life; and


WHEREAS, the celebration of Christmas reminds men, women, and children
across our Common-wealth of the lessons Christ taught and exemplified, such as
the importance of caring for others, giving sacrificially, and sharing with
those in need in our neighborhoods, churches, schools, and communities; and


WHEREAS, while families and friends in Virginia gather this December to
share meals, words of encouragement, and gifts, it is important to remember the
deeper meaning of Christmas and Christ’s life-changing message of God’s love
and His promise of salvation for all people;


NOW THEREFORE, I, James S. Gilmore, III, do hereby recognize December 25,
1999, as CHRISTMAS DAY in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and I call this
observance to the attention of all our citizens.

Announcements

·
Did you see either of the recent “historical” pieces in TV (The
Crossing
on A&E or CBS’s Thomas
Jefferson and Sally Hemings
) and wonder how accurate they were? To find
the answer, check out our website at www.wallbuilders.com.

·Have you heard
about the current conflict over the appointment of a new Chaplain for the U.S.
House of Representatives? The controversy has many calling for the abolition
of congressional chaplains. To see our response
which recently ran in a national magazine, check out our website at www.wallbuilders.com.

·
Our two-hour version of the Spiritual
Heritage Tour of the Capitol
video recently won two national awards.
One was the Angel Award, an award recognizing excellence both in media production
and in values content. The other award we received was the Telly Award. To receive
this award, a video must rank in the top 7 percent of the nation’s videos for
that year. This award is a significant recognition in the secular community
since other contestants included Disney, HBO, Blockbuster Videos, Nickelodeon,
Tri-Star Pictures, Columbia Pictures, etc.

·
Our videos, America’s
Godly Heritage
, Spirit of the American Revolution, Keys
to Good Government
, Education and the Founding Fathers,
and The
Foundations of American Government
have all been awarded the Dove Family
Approved Seal in recognition of “high quality, wholesome movies” that “preserve
the values of today’s children, who will become the business, civic, religious
and pro-family leaders of tomorrow.”

·For those desiring
to make a contribution
to WallBuilder Presentations via an automatic transfer from your bank, we are
now set up to facilitate this process. Simply call our office at 1-800-873-2845
and ask for the “Automatic Transfer Authorization” form and we will send it
to you.

Celebrating the National, And State, Day of Prayer

In 1988, Congress officially designated the first Thursday
in May as the National Day of Prayer. That day is now regularly celebrated in
communities across the nation with prayer gatherings at local courthouses and
civic buildings. In fact, even at the U.S. Capitol there are significant prayer
activities occurring with elected leaders on that day. Interestingly, New Jersey
is the only State which has officially designated that same day as the State’s
Day of Prayer. We thought you might be interested in seeing the wording of their
Act:


WHEREAS, Civic prayers and national days of prayer have a long and
venerable history in our constitutional republic, dating back to the First
Continental Congress in 1775; and


WHEREAS, The Declaration of Independence, our first statement as
Americans of national purpose and identity, made “the Laws of nature and
Nature’s God” the foundation of our United States of America and asserted
that people have inalienable rights that are God-given; and


WHEREAS, The Supreme Court has affirmed the right of state legislatures
to open their sessions with prayer, and the Supreme Court and the U.S. Congress
themselves begin each day with prayer; and


WHEREAS, In 1988, legislation setting aside the first Thursday in May in
each year as the National Day of Prayer was passed unanimously by both Houses of
Congress and signed by President Ronald Reagan; and


WHEREAS, The National Day of Prayer is an opportunity for Americans of
all faiths to join united prayer to acknowledge our dependence on God, to give
thanks for blessings received, to request healing for wounds endured, and to ask
God to guide our leaders and bring wholeness to the United States and her
citizens; and


WHEREAS, It is fitting and proper to give thanks to God by observing a
day of prayer in New Jersey when all may acknowledge our blessings and express
gratitude for them while recognizing the need for strengthening religious and
moral values in our State and nation; now therefore,


Be it enacted by the Senate and the General Assembly of the States of New
Jersey:


The first Thursday in May each year is designated as “A Day of Prayer
in New Jersey” and the citizens of New Jersey are urged to observe the day in
ways appropriate to its importance and significance.


Even though New Jersey is the only State officially to celebrate this day
by legislative enactment, nevertheless, there certainly will be prayer
activities near you in your State in which you can participate. For further
information on these activities, contact the National Day of Prayer at
719-531-3379.

 


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