Posts Tagged ‘Chicago’


Snatch others from the fire and save them.” Jude 1:23

In a conversation with Billy Graham, I asked him what he thought needed to be changed in how we preach to people today compared to the way we preached to people in the 1950s. I expected him to reply with a profound analysis of our culture and the need to contextualize our message. I was surprised, then, when he replied simply and straightforwardly: “Nothing has really changed in terms of the needs of people. Wherever or whatever you preach, you must remind people of their sin, speak to them of heaven and hell, show them to the cross, and urge them to come to the Savior.”

He’s right, of course. The message is the same. The problem is, the receptivity of our culture has changed dramatically. The fundamental tenets of heaven, hell, sin, and the Savior are no longer familiar concepts in our culture. And, generally speaking, people quite frankly don’t really want to hear what we have to say about these matters. Why would they, when popular philosophy teaches us that nothing is wrong or right and that we are entitled to believe whatever we wish since there really is nothing that is truly true?! In a no-sin, no-true truth world that cringes when we claim that Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6), it’s easy to give up and lose our nerve. But a lack of urgency in sharing the gospel can lead to tragic consequences for those who need to hear the good news.

Which reminds me of the lesson that D. L. Moody, the Billy Graham of the 19th century, learned.

After proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ to a crowded hall in Chicago, the evangelist closed his message by encouraging the attendees to go home, consider the claims of the gospel, and return the next week to settle the matter in their lives. But that night Chicago heard the ringing of fire alarms and the clatter of horse-drawn water wagons being hurried through the streets. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow had kicked the lantern, and the Great Chicago Fire swept the city—hundreds of lives were lost. Because of that, D. L. Moody committed himself to never again forget to urge people to receive Christ immediately—before it is too late.

As Moody learned that night, we can’t afford to wait to share the good news of the gospel in light of the urgent needs of those who are living without a Savior and heading toward a godless eternity in hell.  Jude had this sense of urgency when he wrote to the early believers: “I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 1:3), instructing them to “Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them” (Jude 1:22-23).

Having been snatched from the fire ourselves, how fitting that we too should seek to rescue others.  This is the message that has been “entrusted” to us. Let’s pray that the Lord will put a fire in our belly to start sharing His message with urgency! And in the face of a secular, doubting world, remember that we need not be ashamed of the gospel since it is the “power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes” (Romans 1:16). No amount of doubting can thwart the power of God to save those to whom we carry the gospel!

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Do you agree with the statement: “Nothing has really changed in terms of the needs of people”?
  • What are some reasons why people resist the message of sin and their need for a Savior?
  • How have you responded to the gospel? If you haven’t responded yet, what are you waiting for?
  • What is your attitude regarding sharing the gospel? If you lack a proper sense of urgency, pray and ask the Lord to reignite the fire in your belly for the gospel!

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/snatched-from-the-fire/


 

Yesterday, ADA reported on the rumors buzzing around that the Christian-owned Chick-Fil-A fast food restaurant, fresh off its biggest day of sales due to support of CEO Dan Cathy’s statements on his support for marriage, was buckling under pressure from the homosexual movement and halting support for pro-traditional family organizations and ministries.
Chick-fil-A stopped funding traditional-marriage groups in an effort to open a new Chicago restaurant, but the company initially kept quiet about the decision, prompting gay rights groups to speculate that the company feared a backlash from conservative customers.”
From CitizenLink.com, “
“A part of our corporate commitment is to be responsible stewards of all that God has entrusted to us. Because of this commitment, Chick-fil-A’s giving heritage is focused on programs that educate youth, strengthen families and enrich marriages, and support communities. We will continue to focus our giving in those areas. Our intent is not to support political or social agendas.
CitizenLink also quotes Focus on the Family’s President Jim Daly – Focus on the Family was reported by several sources as being one of the organizations Chick-Fil-A would no longer donate to – in showing his support for the restaurant, “Dan and Bubba Cathy are my Christian brothers and good friends. They and their company have long shared Focus on the Family’s commitment to helping build strong and thriving families — and they have in no way deviated from that deeply held and biblically inspired passion while working with the city of Chicago to open Chick-fil-A restaurants there.”
We asked you to show Chick-Fil-A support for their stand for marriage yesterday when it seemed as if their support might have been wavering. The company even more-so deserves our encouragement now.
Tell Chick-Fil-A thank you for not giving in.
: Kindly Thank  Chick-fil-A and its Chief Operating Officer, Dan Cathy, for not giving in.
[you will reach a receptionist, who will then put you on hold to talk with a Chick-fil-A representative; also don't forget to thank Dan Cathy for his public defense of godly values!]
form: .

A rumor has slowly been leaking out this week that Chick-Fil-A – arguably the biggest corporate champion for traditional marriage in our society  – has caved to pressure from the pro-homosexual agenda.

It’s been reported by several sources that Chick-Fil-A will no longer support pro-family organizations like Focus on the Family and the National Organization for Marriage. According to the Washington Post, “Chick-fil-A stopped funding traditional-marriage groups in an effort to open a new Chicago restaurant, but the company initially kept quiet about the decision, prompting gay rights groups to speculate that the company feared a backlash from conservative customers.”

The news came after a press release by “The Civil Rights Agenda,” which stated that, “The Civil Rights Agenda, Illinois’ leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights advocacy organization, has learned that Alderman Moreno has finalized his negotiations with Chick-Fil-A.  Alderman Moreno has confirmed that Chick-fil-A will no longer give money to anti-gay organizations and that they have clarified in an internal document that the company will treat every person equally, regardless of sexual orientation.”

According to Fox News, “The company declined to comment beyond a statement saying it planned ‘to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.

Anti-gay groups listed as recipients of funds in the past declined to comment.”

The Civil Rights Agenda also quoted a portion of the letter from Chick-Fil-A to Alderman Moreno, a Chicago official who refused to allow Chick-Fil-A to open a restaurant in his city.

The letter stated, “The WinShape Foundations is now taking a much closer look at the organizations it considers helping, and in that process will remain true to its stated philosophy of not supporting organizations with political agendas.”

The WinShape Foundation is a charity founded and sponsored by Chick-Fil-A.

Those are the facts that have been released so far, and any news at the time of this writing is sourced by the Civil Rights Agenda Press Release and not by Chick-Fil-A itself.

Of course, traditional marriage proponents like ourselves and Chick-Fil-A CEO Dan Cathy do not consider ourselves or Focus on the Family or the National Organization for Marriage or any other organizations that Chick-Fil-A may have donated to, to be anti-anything, but rather pro-traditional marriage. Also, as far as we’ve heard, Chick-Fil-A continues to serve chicken to  anyone who pays for it, equally, regardless of sexual “orientation.”

That is why, before hastening to condemn Chick-Fil-A, our ministry will wait to hear from Chick-Fil-A that they are changing their policy on who they donate to, or to see if they cease their support for some of these pro-family ministries.

ADA has received our share of politically worded responses from companies in the past, and the quoted portions of Chick-Fil-A’s letter to Alderman Moreno smacks of one of those letters.

A betrayal of that sort by Chick-Fil-A would be especially hurtful after the restaurants’ clients turned out to support the company with their biggest day of sales ever after Dan Cathy made his comments supporting traditional marriage.

While we are not prepared to condemn Chick-Fil-A at this point, we do encourage you to write them in support of the pro-traditional marriage stance that they’ve held in the past and stay tuned to how this plays out.

TAKE ACTION: Kindly encourage Chick-fil-A and its Chief Operating Officer, Dan Cathy, to stand strong and NOT cave in to the radical Homosexual Lobby and liberal politicians by dropping its laudable support for pro-family and pro-real-marriage (one-man, one-woman) groups:

Chick-fil-A phone: 404-765-8000[you will reach a receptionist, who will then put you on hold to talk with a Chick-fil-A representative; also don't forget to thank Dan Cathy for his public defense of godly values!]

Chick-fil-A online contactform: http://www.chick-fil-a.com/Connect/Contact-Us-CARES.

Chick-fil-A Corp. headquarters: 5200 Buffington Road, Atlanta, GA 30349

Also, encourage Chick-fil-A’s charitable foundation, WinShape Foudation, to NOT succumb to pro-homosexual intimidation and continue to support pro-family and pro-real-marriage organizations:

WinShape Foundation P.O. Box 490009 Mt. Berry, GA 30149-0009 Phone:  877-977-3873; E-mail: info@winshape.org

For further information: A special appreciation to Peter LaBarbera and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality.  You would do well to read his article from minutes ago. http://americansfortruth.com/2012/09/20/encourage-chick-fil-a-not-to-cave-in-to-gay-activists-by-dropping-marriage-support/

http://www.americandecency.org/full_article.php?article_no=1395


“As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” John 9:1

Let me introduce you to a friend of mine. Arloa Sutter grew up on a farm in Iowa. One of her fond memories from her time on the farm was spawned on a cold December day when she walked out into the pasture and noticed a little lamb that had just been born. Its body was frozen stiff. Thinking it was dead, Arloa picked it up and carefully took it back into the warmth of the barn. She wrapped the little lamb in towels and then went back to her house. A few hours later she returned to the barn to do a couple of chores only to hear the weak yet welcome sound of bleating from that little lamb.

Rescuing that lamb had a huge impact on Arloa. It opened her heart to the call of God to rescue His lambs off the streets of Chicago. Arloa moved to Chicago and attended college at The Moody Bible Institute. She never went back to the sheep on the farm. In Chicago, she was struck by the needs of the destitute and poor—people whom, as she says, “are like that frozen lamb who need a touch of the compassion of Jesus to reclaim their souls.” After graduation, Arloa established Breakthrough Ministries, which is now a leader in ministering to the homeless street people of that city.

I lived in Chicago for many years, and I can tell you how easy it is to become immune to the countless homeless people on the streets—to pass by and wonder what went wrong without reaching out to help. Why is it that we are far more interested in the details of what, why, when, and where, than we are about how we can help?

When the disciples passed the blind beggar, their curiosity about why he was suffering outweighed any desire to reach out to him. I can’t help but wonder if they had seen him many times before and responded with the same kind of standoffish, theological curiosity. And when they finally got a chance to quiz Jesus about the man, it revealed that they were dreadfully out of step with their Master’s heart. In fact, they had more than just curiosity. Lurking beneath their question was a desire to know whom to blame for the problem.

Thankfully, Jesus’ heart was into compassion, not curiosity. Rather than analyzing the situation to satisfy the judgmental attitudes of onlookers, He marshaled His divine resources to reach out and help. Which in this case meant that the blind man would see! And to answer the disciples’ question, He made it clear that the man’s blindness was intended to provide a moment when God could be magnified through Jesus’ compassionate touch.

Jesus’ actions call us away from standoffish, curious, and often critical attitudes. Jesus teaches us that true followers never fail to be compassionate but rather constantly live by the motto: “What can I do to help?”

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • What is your first reaction when you encounter someone who is down-and-out? Is your response more like that of the disciples or of Jesus?
  • Read the story of the blind man in John 9:1-41. How did the man’s physical healing eventually bring about spiritual restoration (John 9:35-39)?
  • It’s easy to go through each day with merely a passing thought about the needs of those around us. Ask the Lord to open your eyes today to give you an opportunity to see beyond someone’s circumstances to their need, and to extend His touch of grace to that person.
  • For more information about Breakthrough Ministries, take a look at their Web site: www.breakthroughministries.com. Find out if there is a ministry in your neighborhood that you can assist in bringing the hope and healing of Jesus to those around you.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/curiosity-or-compassion/

A Promise Fulfilled

Posted: September 5, 2012 in Joe Stowell
Tags: , , , , , , ,

She will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21

In the off-season of baseball, managers and coaches concentrate on trading players to set themselves up for a winning season the next year. But if you are a Chicago Cubs fan like I am, you don’t expect much because we haven’t won a championship in years! That made the promise from a newly acquired player for the Cubs sound rather incredible. To a packed press conference, he said, “We are going to win the World Series!” I have to admit, it was hard not to be skeptical. It sounded like a promise that most likely he couldn’t deliver.

No doubt the Jews of Jesus’ day who were living under the oppressive thumb of Rome had to wonder if God would ever make good on His promise to send a Deliverer who would forgive sin and restore the glory of Israel (Isa. 1:26; Isa. 53:12; Isa. 61:1-11). God had long ago promised them a Redeemer, but they hadn’t heard a word from Him in 400 years. But then, at just the right moment, the angel announced to Joseph that Mary would give birth to a Son who would “save His people from their sins” (Matt. 1:21).

Christmas proves that God is a promise-keeping God! He said that He would send a Deliverer, and He did. Your sin is not beyond the reach of this promise. He is ready and waiting to forgive your sins—all of them.

You can count on it—God makes good on His promises.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/a-promise-fulfilled/


Thumper the Rabbit’s parents always taught him, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.” If the left’s self-appointed Omniscient Diviners of True Meaning have their way, conservatives in the public square won’t be left with anything at all to say. Ever.

It’s a treacherous business exercising your freedom of speech in the age of Obama. As a public service, I present to you: “The 2012 Condensed Liberal Handbook of Racial Code Words.” Decoder rings, activate!

–Angry. On the campaign trail this summer, President Obama has become — in the words of the mainstream Associated Press — more “aggressive.” But don’t you dare call him “angry.” According to MSNBC host Toure, that’s racist!

“You notice he said ‘anger’ twice,” Toure fumed in response to a speech last week by GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. “He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man.” Or maybe Romney is just accurately describing the singular temperament of the growling, finger-jabbing, failure-plagued demagogue-in-chief. It’s about the past four years, not 400 years. Sheesh.

–Chicago. The Obamas and their core team of astroturfers, pay-for-play schemers and powerbrokers hail from the Windy City. This is a simple geographic fact. But in progressive of pallor Chris Matthews’ world, it’s an insidious dog whistle. The frothing cable TV host attacked Republicans this week who have the gall to remind voters of the ruthless Chicago way.

“(T)hey keep saying Chicago, by the way. Have you noticed?” Matthews sputtered. “That sends that message: This guy’s helping the poor people in the bad neighborhoods and screwing us in the ‘burbs.”

Actually, it’s a pointed reminder that the radical redistribution politics of Chicago-on-the-Potomac have done little to alleviate the suffering of impoverished Americans in violence-plagued, job-hungry inner cities everywhere. Racist!

–Constitution. Fox News contributor Juan Williams, who proudly calls himself a “real reporter,” has apparently added real telepathist to his curriculum vitae. Earlier this year, he read the minds of Republicans and conservatives whom he accuses of deep-seated bigotry when they show any public reverence for our founding principles, documents and leaders.

“The language of GOP racial politics is heavy on euphemisms that allow the speaker to deny any responsibility for the racial content of his message,” Williams wrote. “References to a lack of respect for the ‘Founding Fathers’ and the ‘Constitution’ also make certain ears perk up by demonizing anyone supposedly threatening core ‘old-fashioned American values.’”

So, if you ever find yourself wanting to hum the “Schoolhouse Rock” version of the Preamble, heed these three words: Stop the hate!

–Experienced. A significant population of American voters believes that qualifications actually matter when running for the highest office in the land. Chilling, isn’t it? They might as well sport KKK hoods. In the judgment of one Basil Smikle of The Century Foundation, “experienced” is a dreaded “racial code word.”

Intoned Smikle: “Experienced? Does it really mean the time that he spent in the Senate, or does it mean, ‘Well, does that guy have the same kind of experience in life that I have?’ … What does inexperience really mean?”

Maybe it just means what critics meant it to mean: “Does this guy have experience beyond the measly 304 days he served when the U.S. Senate was in session before he announced his first presidential bid?” I know: Racist!

Food Stamp President. At the dawn of the modern federal food stamp program, one in 50 Americans was enrolled. This year, one in seven Americans is on the food stamp rolls. The majority of them are white. Obama’s loosening of eligibility requirements combined with the stagnant economy fueled the rise in dependency. “Food stamp president” is pithy shorthand for the very real entitlement explosion.

Democrats fumed when former GOP candidate Newt Gingrich bestowed the title on Obama and decried its purportedly racist implications. But who are the racists? As Gingrich scolded the aforementioned race troll Chris Matthews last week: “Why do you assume food stamp refers to blacks? What kind of racist thinking do you have? You’re being a racist because you assume they’re black!” Time to find a new code word.

–Golf. This one’s a gobsmacker. Beltway barnacle Lawrence O’Donnell appeared on cable TV to decry Republicans who mention Obama’s frequent golf outings. He singled out Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell‘s convention speech Wednesday night, which joked that Obama “was working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.” The warped racial radar of pasty Lawrence O interpreted this golf joke as “Obama equals Tiger Woods equals RACISM.”

Huh? “These people reach for every single possible racial double entendre they can find in every one of these speeches.” O’Donnell expertly explained. “Things are getting lower and lower by the day,” host Martin Bashir agreed.

I’d say this is all Greek to me. But that’s probably racist, too.

–Holding down the fort. Obama’s State Department diversity officer now advises us, based on admittedly dubious history, that “holding down the fort” is an anti-Native American idiom that has no place in U.S. discourse. Example: “I know you guys have been holding down the fort.” Oops, that was Obama at a Tampa rally in 2008. Next…

–Kitchen cabinet. Radio talk-show host Mark Thompson jumped on Romney for using this phrase — coined to describe Andrew Jackson’s administration in the 1800s — at the NAACP convention in July. Romney was referring to a close member of his staff during his tenure as Massachusetts governor.

“To talk about being in the kitchen and not talk about an African-American actually being in your cabinet is really not a good metaphor to use with African-Americans,” Thompson blasted. Is it racist to ask: Huh?

–Obamacare. Left-wing Daily Beast columnist Michael Tomasky accused Romney of “race-baiting” by wielding the term “Obamacare.” The Beltway shorthand for this behemoth federal spending program exposes Romney as a “spineless, disingenuous, supercilious, race-mongering pyromaniac” because it is a “heavily loaded word,” Tomasky railed.

How then to explain the use of the Bull Connor-channeling epithet by none other than the Obama campaign, which peddles “I like Obamacare” T-shirts on its website? Logic is racist.

–Privileged. Stay with me here. Washington Post writer Jonathan Capehart has a problem with Texas GOP Gov. Rick Perry calling Obama “privileged.” Spotlighting his elite education is tantamount to racial bigotry because it insinuates that “he took the place of someone else through affirmative action, that someone else being someone white.”

And here I thought it was a simple description of an out-of-touch academic whose crony Chicago ties of all colors gifted him with access, money and power that the vast majority of Americans don’t have.

–Professor. Several progressive black intellectuals excoriated 2008 GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin for this statement: “They know we’re at war, and to win that war we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.”

“Professor,” professor Charles Ogletree said, was code for “uppity.” This translation service is available only to credentialed Ivy League eggheads. A saner criticism would be that Obama was never a professor of law, but an untenured lecturer. Racist? Tell that to Hillary Clinton, whose 2008 campaign made that very point.

–You people. Asked last month whether her husband would release more tax returns, Ann Romney told a pack of reporters: “We’ve given all you people need to know and understand about our financial situation and about how, you know, how we live our life.”

A chorus of faux-ragers from the Huffington Post to NBC’s Andrea Mitchell hammered Mrs. Romney for her double-whammy sandwich of elitism and racism. Apparently, “you people” is the verbal equivalent of putting black people back in chains. One little, teeny-tiny problem: ABC News admitted: “Our ruling after reviewing the original audio is that she did not include the ‘you.’”

In other words, it was manufactured out of whole cloth. Give the dog-trombone media another black mark for ridiculous bias denial. “Black mark”? I know: Raaaaaaaaaaacist!

Michelle Malkin

Michelle Malkin is the author of “Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Regnery 2010).

http://townhall.com/columnists/michellemalkin/2012/08/31/the_condensed_liberal_handbook_of_racial_code_words/page/full/


You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. —Matthew 5:14

People often ask me what I miss most about serving as president of Moody Bible Institute. Without question it’s the students. I love their passion for Jesus and the way they demonstrate it to the world around them. Non-Christian employers often told me of the students’ exemplary work ethic. Chicago’s police super-intendent once said, “When the Moody students return to campus, it’s like somebody turned on the lights on the Near North side.”

This is exactly what Jesus had in mind when He said, “You are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). It’s a powerful word picture of the impact of contrast. There should be a recognizable difference between the integrity of Christians and the prevailing darkness of our world.

It’s not about making speeches for Jesus; it’s about people observing us. Even though they may not want to hear about Jesus, you can be sure they’re watching to see if He makes a difference in our lives. When Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works” (Matt. 5:16), He was saying that before we can speak up we have to show up. Our capacity to shine for Jesus is measured by our good works, which reveal His compelling reality in our lives.

Let’s turn on the lights.

You are called with a holy calling The light of the world to be, To lift up the lamp of the Savior That others His light may see.  —Anon.

To lead others out of the darkness of sin, let them see the light of Christ in your life.

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/turn-on-the-lights/


“And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

Three men were stranded on a desert island. A genie appeared and promised to grant each of them just one wish. So the first guy says, “I want to go back to my job with the brokerage firm.” Shazam, he’s back in the office behind his desk. The second guy says, “I’d like to be back in Chicago with my family.” Instantly, he’s zapped back to the Midwest. So the genie turns to the last guy and says, “What’ll it be for you?” He looks around and says, “It’s so lonely here. I wish my friends were back.”

Actually, the pain of loneliness is no laughing matter. And, sad to say, there is no magic-genie cure for the loneliness so many of us struggle with. After God created Adam, He said that it is not good for man to be alone and created Eve for companionship and mutual encouragement. So, it’s no wonder that we hurt when we are disconnected from others who could be a source of satisfaction and joy.

Yet, in one sense, even the loneliest among us is not truly alone. In fact, Jesus not only assures us of His presence but can empathize with the agony of our loneliness. He was brutally cast off by His own people, the object of criticism and scorn, abandoned by His best friends in His hour of need, and betrayed by a trusted colleague. Still, in the midst of this loneliness He was not truly alone. John 8:29 records Christ’s strong confidence in the midst of His standing alone when He says, “The one who sent Me is with Me; He has not left Me alone.” And even though He realized His teaching was rejected by men, He said, “If I do judge, my decisions are right, because I am not alone. I stand with the Father, who sent Me” (John 8:16).

The only true loneliness is the aloneness of being disconnected from God. When we live disconnected from Him, we scramble to fill the void with food, sex, alcohol, shopping, drugs, or meaningless activity. Many of us will do anything to medicate the emptiness we feel without God. In its advanced stages, this aloneness from God fogs our outlook with a cloud of cynicism until our only response to life is “Who cares?” or “Whatever.”

The only real way out is to cling to Jesus, the one who will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5) and the one who promises to give you life, in fact life more abundantly (John 10:10).

Maybe you know this, but you’ve been afraid to put all your eggs in the basket of all Jesus has to offer. Maybe your fear is reflected in the words of the poet who wrote, “lest having Him I would have nothing else beside.”

But let me assure you that Christ will never let you down. Jesus is certainly no magic genie. He does not exist in a foggy vision only to vanish in a puff of smoke. In fact, it’s just the opposite—we have the assurance that He is constantly with us. Jesus said, in Matthew 28:20, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Because of this promise, you can trust that God will never leave you stranded alone on the desert island of life without Him, but will satisfy you with His presence and peace.

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Are you connected to God through a relationship with Christ, or are you alone in your soul? If you are alone, pray and ask Christ to become your Savior.
  • Find someone who needs to hear that Christ is the cure for his or her aloneness. Use God’s Word to encourage that person today!
  • Aloneness can carve a hollow in your soul that alters your tone and perspective on life. In your journal, write down comforting thoughts that God provides from the following Scripture (Psalm 139:7-10; Isaiah 49:13-16; Romans 8:35-39; Hebrews 13:5).

http://getmorestrength.org/daily/the-lonely-hearts-club/


Dan Cathy could have saved his company, Chick-Fil-A, a lot of trouble. All he had to do was keep his views about family to himself.

Instead, he answered a question honestly. In a recent media interview, the company’s president and COO said what he believes and why he believes it. But his politically incorrect views are intolerable, judging from the anger of many on the left, including several big-city officials who are dead-set against his views.

In the interview, Cathy said he is “very much supportive of the family, the biblical definition of the family unit.” Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel took exception: “What the COO has said as it relates to gay marriage and gay couples is not what I believe. But more importantly, it’s not what the people of the city of Chicago believe.”

Now, spirited debates about controversial topics are an American tradition. But it didn’t stop there. The politicians began threatening to block Chick-Fil-A’s plans to expand in their cities.

In a letter to Chick-Fil-A, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino wrote: “I was angry to learn, on the heels of your prejudiced statements, about your search for a site to locate in Boston. There is no place for discrimination on Boston’s Freedom Trail, and no place for your company alongside it.”

Joe Moreno, a Chicago alderman, told Chick-Fil-A to forget about its plans to build a second store in the Windy City: “I’m not gonna sit on the sidelines and allow them to come in when I know in my heart that they believe in discriminating against gay people.”

In Philadelphia, meanwhile, city councilman James Kenney told Dan Cathy to “take a hike and take your intolerance with you.” He also said he plans to introduce a resolution condemning Chick-Fil-A at the next council meeting.

At this point, we’ve moved well beyond debate. It’s a free-speech issue now.

These officials did not merely express an opposite point of view. They threatened to use their political power to punish a man, and those who work for him, for saying something they disagree with. The message this sent is crystal-clear — and chilling: Conform to the “accepted” view, or else.

Emmanuel and company spoke in breathless tones about how offensive Cathy’s beliefs are. Yet what could be more offensive than what they’re trying to do? What could be more, yes, discriminatory than using the power of the state to punish private viewpoints under the guise of standing up against “discrimination”?

“You can’t have a business in the city of Boston that discriminates against a population,” Menino said. But the company does no such thing. Chick-Fil-A hires employees and serves customers without regard to sexual orientation. The head of the company simply expressed his privately held view on the issue of family.

And it’s not just talk. The Cathy family has been a model of corporate responsibility, helping tackle social problems and strengthen civil society. For years, they’ve taken concrete steps to strengthen families through the programs of its WinShape Foundation. Founded in 1984 by S. Truett Cathy, WinShape supports college scholarships, foster care and international ministries. It works hard to strengthen marriage, offering counseling and help for couples in crisis, saving marriages that had been on the brink of divorce.

WinShape also works with other like-minded groups that seek to strengthen marriage in America. “It’s the kind of work that will take decades — even generations,” writes Jennifer Marshall, director of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society at The Heritage Foundation. “And it’s not the stuff of headlines, which is why many Americans probably have no idea this critical effort is under way.”

What does make the headlines? False and outrageous charges of discrimination from opportunistic politicians with little respect for free-speech rights.

“We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles,” Cathy added in the interview that led to the controversy.

After hearing the way he’s been treated since then, you have to wonder: Do we, in fact, live in such a country anymore?

Ed Feulner

    Dr. Edwin Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation, a Townhall.com Gold Partner, and co-author of Getting America Right: The True Conservative Values Our Nation Needs Today  .

http://townhall.com/columnists/edfeulner/2012/08/03/of_free_speech_and_chickfila/page/full/


When the New York Post puts a fast-food chicken franchise on page one, you know some feathers have been ruffled, so to speak. And, indeed, the Chick-fil-A outfit can forget about catering any gay marriage receptions, because the company’s president, Dan Cathy, recently told an Atlanta radio station that by supporting gay nuptials, America is “inviting God’s wrath.”

While that remains to be seen, the wrath of pro-gay marriage advocates is vividly on display. The mayors of Boston and Chicago, playing to their liberal bases, both came out against having any Chick-fil-A restaurants in their cities. In the case of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, his condemnation of the fast-food chain came just days before Chicago was named the most dangerous city on Earth by a local TV news station.

Maybe some good chicken would calm things down in the Windy City.

Anyway, the attacks on Chick-fil-A are un-American, and here’s why. Gay marriage is not a civil right in the USA, and until the Supreme Court rules that it is, there is no bias case to be made against those who, in good conscience, oppose it. Cathy and millions of other Americans believe in the sanctity of man-woman marriage based upon religious tenets. Some secularists even oppose homosexual nuptials because they believe nature dictates that marriage and procreation go together, that it is a societal stabilizer.

To brand someone a hater or a bigot because he or she opposes an expansion of traditional marriage to one selected group is unfair and narrow-minded.

The converse is true, as well. If someone sincerely believes that so-called “marriage equality” is the fair and just thing to do, that belief should be respected.

What is truly disturbing are the threats. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee recently tweeted: “Closest Chick-fil-A to San Francisco is 40 miles away and I strongly recommend they not try to come any closer.”

You strongly recommend, Mr. Mayor? Why? Might something happen to a Chick-fil-A business that opens in your town? Are you sanctioning threats?

That’s the crux of this matter: Lee’s belief that he has a right to punish those with whom he disagrees.

Hey, Mr. Mayor, the vast majority of black preachers publicly oppose gay marriage. Are you going to tell them not to set up shop in your town?

Bet he won’t.

The Chick-fil-A deal is basically a grandstand play by some politically correct leftwing zealots. But it has backfired big time. All across the country, thousands of folks stood in long lines this week to buy chicken from Chick-fil-A. They are making an important statement: Don’t mess with freedom of expression.

That is one foul thing to do.

Bill O’Reilly

Bill O’Reilly is host of the Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” and author of “Who’s Looking Out For You?” and Pinheads and Patriots.

http://townhall.com/columnists/billoreilly/2012/08/04/playing_chicken_with_gay_marriage