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[Cfamily]Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy
« Reply #248 on: July 28, 2016, 07:04:05 AM »

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Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy

Tim LaHaye, the best-selling author best known for the Left Behind series, “graduated to heaven” early this morning after suffering a stroke at age 90.

Tim LaHaye

Tim LaHaye

His family announced the news of his passing at a San Diego hospital on his ministry Facebook page.

On the eve of his death, ministry partners, fans, and friends urgently asked for prayer on social media this weekend, offering a wave of early tributes that spread through end-times prophecy circles and chapters of Concerned Women for America (CWA), the 600,000-member public policy organization founded by LaHaye’s wife, Beverly. Some circulated a statement by LaHaye’s daughter Linda: “He will not recover from this, he will soon be graduated to heaven.”

“Tim was one of the most godly men I have ever known,” said David Jeremiah, LaHaye’s successor at the San Diego church he led for 25 years (then named Scott Memorial Baptist Church, now named Shadow Mountain Community Church). “Almost every conversation I had with him ended with his praying with me and for me. He wrote me extended letters of appreciation for what God was doing in our church. We shared long lunches together talking about ministry and praying for our nation.

“When I look back over [his] life, I am reminded of Paul’s words concerning King David: ‘He served his own generation by the will of God’ (Acts 13:36),” stated Jeremiah, senior pastor of Shadow Mountain and founder of Turning Point. “Tim’s ministry will continue for many years through the books he wrote, the organizations he founded, and the people that he influenced. But I will miss him when I look out from my pulpit next Sunday.”

“Whose life hasn't been affected in some way by this man?” wrote Prophecy Watchers, a two-year-old ministry based in Oklahoma City that announced the news of LaHaye’s stroke, describing him as a friend and supporter. “This is a great man of God and if the Lord takes him home, he leaves behind a wonderful legacy. In the words of Steve Green, ‘May all who come behind us find us faithful.’”

“Thrilled as I am that he is where he has always wanted to be, his departure leaves a void in my soul I don’t expect to fill until I see him again,” stated Jerry B. Jenkins, who co-wrote the Left Behind books with LaHaye, in the obituary released by the LaHaye family. [Jenkins wrote a tribute for CT on “the Tim LaHaye I knew.”]

The founder and president of Tim LaHaye Ministries and founder of the PreTrib Research Center, LaHaye sold 62 million copies of the series with Jenkins. “In terms of its impact on Christianity, it’s probably greater than that of any other book in modern times, outside the Bible,” the late Jerry Falwell, a friend of LaHaye’s, told Time magazine in 2005.

CT ranked Left Behind among the landmark titles that have shaped evangelicalism. LaHaye and Jenkins not only had readers rethinking the rapture, but also the potential popularity of Christian novels. “The book launched a series that launched a marketing empire that launched a new set of rules for Christian fiction. The series spent a total of 300 weeks—nearly as long as the Tribulation it dramatized—on The New York Times's bestseller list.”

The series, whose first title released 21 years ago this month, still sells in the six figures annually, according to Jenkins.

“Tim LaHaye’s history as a published author is intertwined with the entire history of Tyndale House,” stated Mark D. Taylor, chairman and CEO of Tyndale House Publishers. “His first book, Spirit-Controlled Temperament, was published 50 years ago in 1966. It was the very first book published by Tyndale House apart from the Living series of Bible paraphrases. And Tyndale’s highest-selling series of trade titles has been the Left Behind series. ... Tim was a wonderful Bible teacher and pastor and an inspiration for our entire industry. We will miss him.”

“It was LaHaye's idea to fictionalize an account of the Rapture and the Tribulation,” according to his bio on the official Left Behind website. It notes:

LaHaye originated the idea of a novel about the Second Coming. "Sitting on airplanes and watching the pilots," he told People magazine, "I'd think to myself, 'What if the Rapture occurred on an airplane?'" LaHaye looked for a co-writer for several years and was then introduced to Jerry B. Jenkins through their mutual agent, Rick Christian, president of the Colorado Springs literary agency, Alive Communications, who also negotiated the book deal.

“Writing the Left Behind novel series for him and traveling with him all over the country to promote it, I saw the softer side of a man known for strong opinions and polemic views,” stated Jenkins. “The Tim LaHaye I got to know had a pastor’s heart and lived to share his faith. He listened to and cared about everyone, regardless of age, gender, or social standing. If Tim was missing from the autograph table or the green room of a network television show, he was likely in a corner praying with someone he’d just met—from a reader to a part-time bookstore stock clerk to a TV network anchorman.”

Earlier this month, LaHaye publicly celebrated his 69th wedding anniversary with his wife. Time magazine labeled the pair “the Christian Power Couple” in 2005, listing them among the country's most influential evangelicals. “[Beverly] has been my faithful partner in marriage, parenthood, ministry, and many things we never dreamed. We are still in love today!” he wrote. “God has been faithful to us and we continue to claim as our life verse, Proverbs 3:5 & 6, ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.’”

His ministry bio notes:

He also founded two accredited Christian high schools, a school system of 10 Christian schools, San Diego Christian College (formerly Christian Heritage College), and assisted Dr. Henry Morris in the founding of the Institute for Creation Research, the nation's foremost exponent of creationist materials.

LaHaye has written more than 60 non-fiction books on a wide range of subjects such as: family life, temperaments, sexual adjustment, Bible prophecy, the will of God, Jesus Christ, and secular humanism with over 14 million in print, some of which have been translated into 32 foreign languages. His writings are best noted for their easy-to-understand and scripturally based application of biblical principles that assist in facing and handling the challenges of life.

His ministry obituary notes:

During the 1970s Dr. LaHaye was instrumental in gathering a coalition of Southern California pastors together to address a progressive agenda that was undermining traditional family values. Also in the ’70s he encouraged the late Jerry Falwell Sr. to establish the Moral Majority as a way to build a similar coalition nationally. He was also widely credited with garnering evangelical support behind the campaign of George W. Bush.

A Bob Jones University alumnus, LaHaye received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Western Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Literature degree from Liberty University. He and his wife lived in Southern California and have 4 children, 9 grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren.

His ministry offers a fuller obituary.

Source: Died: Tim LaHaye, Author Who 'Left Behind' a Long Legacy

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[Cfamily]Where Have All the Gray-Haired Ladies Gone?
« Reply #249 on: July 29, 2016, 07:00:28 AM »
Where Have All the Gray-Haired Ladies Gone?

I was 39 when my daughter started kindergarten. Elise’s enthusiasm for her new friends led me to volunteer as a chaperone for the pumpkin patch field trip. I chatted with other parents as the children scurried through the classroom putting toys away and grabbing jackets from wall hooks.

Then it happened. The question.

“It's so great you can help,” the young mom started. “Is Elise your granddaughter?”

A sledgehammer would have been a softer blow.

“No, she is my daughter.” I smiled but felt every gray-haired root dig deeper into my scalp.

The woman winced. I squirmed. It was grossly uncomfortable. I had failed the age-defiance goal of our culture.

The Choice

Years before when silver began to sparkle among my sable browns, I made a conscious choice: I would not color my hair. At the time, I served as a church youth director. My constant mantra to our teens was how precious and perfectly-made they were. In his own sovereign and all-knowing ways, God chose their body shape, freckles, eye color, and yes, hair color. As I considered my own graying hair, it felt hypocritical to laud the divine design in each teen while trying to negate God’s choice for me.

A few more years passed. I don't know when the grays began to outnumber the browns on my head, but I do recall when the message and mantra of God's creative design started to really feel personal. It was the day my daughter was born. I wanted my daughter to deeply grasp her own beauty and perfection in the eyes of God. Whether shopping from the girls' plus-size clothing racks or taming her fizzy curls, I felt it was critical for my daughter to be comfortable with her body. And instead of mimicking a single ideal, I wanted my daughter to embrace the uniqueness in every person she encountered. I began to realize how important it was for me to embody and exemplify the truth that my body, graying hair included, is fearfully and wonderfully made.

Why I’ve Gone Gray

I'm now 54 years old. I do not know if any sable browns remain on my head. But when I am with a group of women my age and older, I have noticed a puzzling trend: blonde, brunette, and ginger colors crown the heads of most of my peers. Typically, there are only one or two other silver-haired women present in a room. Where have all the gray-haired ladies gone?

Hair color frequently surfaces as a topic of conversation. Other women wistfully and sincerely compliment my graying tresses. Then, alas, they explain how the color “does not work” for them. They lament the time and expense of hair dye, but resign themselves to its continued place in their life.

Source: Where Have All the Gray-Haired Ladies Gone?

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[Cfamily]After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids?
« Reply #250 on: July 30, 2016, 07:04:05 AM »
After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids?

My first day watching porn was also my last. I was nine when an adult neighbor took me to a house where several of her friends were gathered. The men and women came knowing the agenda—to watch hours of pornographic videos. I was placed on a man’s lap, and the tapes were played. At one point, my neighbor asked if I “felt” anything. I said no, and the group laughed.

I remember the day now as the end of something immeasurably precious—the gift of being innocent and unashamed. I’ve often mourned for my nine-year-old self, her soul plundered and her naiveté stripped. I grieve for her and fear for my two small daughters. What images (and God forbid, touches) might be lurking, waiting to take their innocence? God help us.

We live in a country where kids’ online exposure to pornography is on the rise. Most children ages 10-17 have viewed porn one way or another; about a quarter report seeing unwanted pornography images in search results, emails, and pop-up ads. One in four women and one in six men are sexually abused before age 18. An abuser isn’t always the sinister stranger luring children from a slow-moving car. In most cases, perpetrators aren’t strangers at all, like the neighbor who exposed me to graphic videos before I even understood the nature of sex.

Ninety-three percent of child abuse victims know their abusers: 34 percent are victimized by family members (uncles, cousins, even siblings), 58 percent by acquaintances (neighbors, coaches, even pastors), and 7 percent by the stereotypical stranger.

While men are considerably more likely to sexually assault a child, abuse by women happens too. A study in 2000 found female child molesters make up 12 percent of offenders targeting kids under the age of 6; for older victims, women are responsible for just 3 percent of child sex abuse cases.

Run a Google search on a random day and will be probably find some recent story of a mother, sitter or female teacher charged with the sexual exploitation of a child. In my case, the person who took me to a house to watch porn was a lovely young woman—a good friend and neighbor I had grown to love. I remember many afternoons in her home; she would braid my hair as she chatted with friends. I was often included in these conversations. I felt noticed and enjoyed a sense of belonging.

Child abusers like these blend in well and represent people of all shapes, sizes, and backgrounds. Parents do well to exercise prudence and discernment in the communal care of their children. If perpetrators are watchful and deliberate in their intention to abuse, moms and dads must be equally, if not more, attentive in their duty to protect.

Source: After Childhood Abuse, How Can I Trust Others with My Kids?

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[Cfamily]99 Essential Doctrines Christians Should Know
« Reply #251 on: July 31, 2016, 07:00:40 AM »
99 Essential Doctrines Christians Should Know

Inspiration of Scripture

Most Christians realize the inspiration of God’s word is an essential doctrine. J. Gresham Machen, pastor, professor and author of “Christianity and Liberalism,” expressed scripture as

a “true account” of divine revelation whose entire text is ensured by the Holy Spirit.

From the days of the Old Testament through today, the historic view of God’s people is that “God has spoken.” Not only has He spoken, but He has done so in a way that is without mistakes.

He did this through “inspiration,” most clearly stated by Paul in 2 Timothy 3:16:

All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness. (HSCB)

The doctrine of inspiration is what gives us assurance God has given us His Word, and that it absolutely trustworthy for every aspect of our lives. (Inspiration does not guarantee infallible interpretation, but that’s a topic for another day.)

God Is Holy

Scripture speaks of God’s holiness many times. At its core, holiness means to be set apart for a special purpose. When speaking of God, holiness is an attribute. That is, holiness isn’t something God does—it’s part of His being. He hasn’t been set apart; He sets apart. Without holiness He would cease to be the God revealed in scripture.

From holy ground to holy days to holy people to holy places to be in relationship with God was to be set apart for His glory: to be holy. God’s holiness was reflected in the various things set apart for His use. His people were instructed to be holy for the very reason that God Himself is holy. Even the word we translate church means “called-out ones.”

As Peter reminds us,

But as the one who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’ (1 Peter 1:15-16, HCSB)

God’s holiness is not a product of His creation. Quite the contrary, God’s holiness is the reason He can demand it from His creation.

Creation out of Nothing

Ex nihilo are meaningful words to Christians. They mean “out of nothing” and refer to God creating everything with nothing outside Himself as the starting point. To put it another way, the immaterial God spoke the material world into existence. He did not need to fashion the universe out of anything since everything emanated from Him. Indeed, nothing physical could come into existence without God willing it into existence.

In our time, discussion about the Big Bang abounds. Supercolliders are used by scientists to recreate and research the first trillionths of a second after the universe came into existence. The pace of discovery is accelerating.

But, for the believer, the ultimate question is not the mere facts of the beginning, but Who is on the other side of the Big Bang? If all mass, time, space, and physical laws came into existence at the Big Bang, why should we think there was no force that caused it? The naturalist would say, “We don’t know, but it wasn’t God.” The believer will say, “We don’t know, but it makes sense that it could be God.” Contemplating before the beginning of the universe leads to a need for faith that Someone was involved, or that no one was.

Creation out of nothing affirms the biblical truth that all things are “from Him, through Him, and to Him” (Romans 11:36). God is the uncreated Creator, the unmoved Mover, the uncaused First Cause.

Sin’s Effects in the World

Though Evangelicals may disagree until the not-yet Kingdom is now regarding what the Fall’s imposition of spiritual death on humans means, there are few who will argue that sin has had a devastating effect on the world. Broken people, broken systems, broken governments, broken, broken, broken. Sin, like battery acid, is corrosive and disfiguring.

To believe in the Fall is to believe that at a point in history sin entered into the world and death by sin (Romans 5:12). Sin affects our flesh, our emotions, our psyche, our spiritual growth, and, if unrepented of, separates us from God forever.

We can look around our world and see the brutality of terrorist groups, the dishonesty of white-collar criminals, the failure of marriages, and, of course, we can look in the mirror. Nothing about God’s creation remains unaffected by sin. The effects of sin have been so thorough and so tragic that it took the death of God’s only begotten to destroy them at the root.

New Heaven and New Earth

One of the greatest promises of scripture is the coming New Heaven and New Earth. To be honest, I don’t know what all that means. Will God wipe everything and start from a clean slate? Many believe that’s the case. Or, will God totally and thoroughly renovate everything about His creation, restoring it to its original state? Others hold that position.

What I do know is this:

For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed. for the creation was subjected to futility—not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it—in hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage of corruption in to the glorious freedom of God’s children. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. And not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits—we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our bodies. (Romans 8:19-23, HCSB)

We recognize the depth of sin, but we also believe the God who redeems will ultimately restore. The God who created will re-create and, as the inspired scripture tells us, in Him will be all in all (1 Corinthians 15:28).

Source: 99 Essential Doctrines Christians Should Know

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[Cfamily]The Real Cost (and Power) of Seeking Justice
« Reply #252 on: August 01, 2016, 07:00:42 AM »
The Real Cost (and Power) of Seeking Justice

Earlier this month I spent two weeks in Kenya, where international attention has focused on the abduction and murder of three men: my colleague Willie Kimani, a human rights lawyer and investigator for IJM, our client Josephat Mwenda, and their taxi driver Joseph Muiruri. Willie and the IJM team were pursuing a case against a Kenyan police officer for shooting Josephat, and the two went missing with their trusted taxi driver while heading for their homes following a court hearing in Nairobi.

Tragically, eight days after they went missing, despite an extensive search led by Kenyan police and IJM staff, their bodies were found in the Ol-Donyo Sabuk River to the northeast of Nairobi on July 1, 2016. On Monday, July 18, four police officers were charged in their murder.

While we are encouraged by the investigation and arrest, our hearts are still devastated. And even as we deeply mourn these obscene murders, we are profoundly grateful to every government agency, nonprofit, church, and individual who used their voice to rally an urgent response to their disappearance. Now we need continued action to help us bring those responsible for their murder to justice—and fuel a massive movement to finally end impunity for abusive police in Kenya.

As we follow Jesus in his work of justice in a fallen and violent world, our staff willingly put themselves at risk every day. Seeking justice requires confrontation with evil. And evil fights back, with violence. But when Jesus tells his disciples, “You are the light of the world,” he is calling us to take that light into even the darkest corners.

As a human rights lawyer and an investigator for IJM, Willie was following hard after the God of justice. He was willing to place his very body between the violent men and the vulnerable poor. He was bearing the light of Christ bodily to the end, and no darkness will ever quench that immortal light in his soul or in the nation he loved.

The IJM family around the world mourns the deaths of Willie, Josephat and Joseph and strongly condemns the perpetrators of these murders. Even so, we know that evil always overplays its hand. The God of the universe, the God who created each of us, is a God of justice and his justice will be made known. This we know: God will not be mocked. And we at IJM will never, ever leave this fight he has given us.

I’m asking God to allow the deaths of these men, the rank arrogance of these murders, to shatter hearts all over the world to a tipping point of outrage. Enough is enough. These murders in Kenya expose a grotesque but long-tolerated brokenness in the justice systems of the world’s poorest communities: police systems that murder the poor when God has appointed these authorities to protect the poor. It is a brokenness that can and must be fixed. I’m praying that the voices that have been raised over these past few days will swell and multiply exponentially in the days ahead, because every voice matters. I’m praying that our voices will swell to a relentless roar for justice in Kenya, justice for all who are poor and vulnerable and suffer violence every day at the hands of oppressors.

My prayer, in this moment of deep grief, is that we will allow the murders of Willie, Josephat and Joseph to move us, perhaps as we have never been moved before—moved to compassion, to courage, to godly action. In a moment in history when the eyes of the world are staring in numbness and in shock at such violence, it is only fair to ask, where are the Christ-followers? Are they in the fight, “seeking justice, rescuing the oppressed” (Isa. 1.17)? I see Christians in Kenya leading the fight, “joyful in hope, patient in affliction, and faithful in prayer” (Rom. 12:12). The question is whether they will do so alone. Or will the Body of Christ around the world rally to their side, because “if one part suffers, every part suffers with it” (1 Cor. 12:26)?

Source: The Real Cost (and Power) of Seeking Justice

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[Cfamily]Goodbye, God Gap: Trump and Clinton Have Churchgoers Unusually Split
« Reply #253 on: August 02, 2016, 07:18:06 AM »
Goodbye, God Gap: Trump and Clinton Have Churchgoers Unusually Split

Donald Trump seems to be breaking yet another political tradition this election: the “God gap.”

In previous US elections, polls consistently showed that a person’s level of religiosity—how important their faith is to them and how often they attend church—was one of the biggest predictors in how they would vote. The more religious an American was, the more likely he or she was to vote Republican; the less religious, the more likely to vote Democrat.

But that correlation appears to be weakening, enough that some are asking whether this year’s unusual matchup between Trump and Hillary Clinton will be the end of what political scientists Robert Putnam and David Campbell termed the God gap.

Trump only leads Clinton by four percentage points among regular churchgoers (49% vs. 45%), a “notable shift” according to the Pew Research Center. By comparison, Mitt Romney’s 15-point margin over Barack Obama in 2012 (55% vs. 40%) was much more indicative of the usual spread between Republican and Democrat candidates among weekly worshipers.

Similarly, George Washington University found that the difference between the percentage of weekly churchgoers voting Republican vs. Democrat spanned 40 points in 2012; during the 2016 primaries, there was less than 15 percentage points between the two, according to Religion News Service blogger Mark Silk’s analysis of the survey data.

This year’s demographic shifts are drastic enough that, for the first time in years, gender outweighs faith in determining how someone might vote, wrote Silk.

The main factor: churchgoing Catholics. They slightly favored the GOP during the last presidential election, but with Trump as the Republican nominee, their Democratic support has risen 22 percentage points, reports FiveThirtyEight (based on Pew’s data).

Pew found that the move is more attributable to Trump than Clinton, (and not in a good way for Trump): the number of churchgoing Catholics voting mainly against Trump nearly matches the number voting in support of Clinton. For the Obama-Romney matchup, Catholic churchgoers overwhelmingly were motivated by support for the Democratic candidate.

Meanwhile, white evangelicals voting Democrat this year are dramatically doing so in response to Trump’s candidacy. “The share of weekly churchgoing evangelicals who support the Democratic nominee has remained nearly flat from June 2012 to June 2016, but their reasons have changed,” writes FiveThirtyEight’s Leah Libresco. “Two-thirds of churchgoing evangelical Obama supporters described their vote as ‘for Obama’ rather than ‘against Romney,’ but the proportions are exactly flipped for Clinton.”

However, evangelicals who rarely go to church have moved significantly more into the GOP camp: from a 29 percentage point margin in 2012 to a 57 percentage point margin in 2016 (see Pew chart above).

A recent Pew survey found that 56 percent of Catholic registered voters and 89 percent of black Protestant registered voters (two-thirds of whom are evangelicals, according to Pew) side with Clinton in the upcoming election. For white evangelicals, 78 percent back Trump. (Most are motivated by distaste for Clinton rather than genuine support for Trump.)

In interactive charts on candidate switching among Republicans and among Democrats, Pew found:

  • 10 percent of voters who supported Ted Cruz in the GOP primary now support Clinton in the general election. (3% will abstain.)

  • 20 percent of voters who supported John Kasich in the GOP primary now support Clinton in the general election. (2% will abstain.)

  • 15 percent of voters who were undecided in the GOP primary now support Clinton in the general election. (17% will abstain.)

  • 9 percent of voters who supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary now support Trump in the general election. (1% will abstain.)

  • 18 percent of voters who were undecided in the Democratic primary now support Trump in the general election. (9% will abstain.)

Meanwhile, here’s what we know about evangelical Democrats, according to Pew’s Religious Landscape Survey. (The unusually large survey of Americans, conducted in 2007 and again in 2014, categorizes religious groups by denomination instead of by self-identification.)

In 2014, 28 percent of evangelicals identified as Democrats. This was a decline from 34 percent in 2007:

About one-third of evangelical Democrats describe themselves as “conservative”:

More than half of evangelical Democrats are white:

Most evangelical Democrats are women—almost two-thirds, in fact:

Overall, a similar share of evangelicals across age groups identify as Democrats (about 30%):

Almost half of evangelical Democrats believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases (46%):

Evangelical Democrats are slightly less likely to have a college degree than evangelical Republicans (18% vs. 25%):

Evangelical Democrats are more likely to have a lower income than evangelical Republicans:

Evangelical Democrats are less likely to attend church weekly than evangelical Democrats:

Evangelical Democrats are slightly less likely to feel “spiritual peace and wellbeing” weekly as evangelical Republicans (70% vs. 77%):

Evangelical Democrats are slightly more likely to believe in heaven than evangelical Republicans (though the difference falls within the margin of error):

However, evangelicals remain one of the most Republican religious groups in America overall:

Pew offers many more interactive charts on evangelical views based on party affiliation.

CT’s coverage of the 2016 election includes how most white evangelicals are voting Trump but not for Trump, as well as how pro-life Democrats are struggling with Clinton’s challenge to the abortion status quo.

[Photos of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton courtesy of Gage Skidmore – Flickr]

[Photo of church courtesy of ebyabe – Flickr]

Source: Goodbye, God Gap: Trump and Clinton Have Churchgoers Unusually Split

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[Cfamily]Pro-Life Democrats Struggle with Clinton Challenging Status Quo
« Reply #254 on: August 03, 2016, 07:20:39 AM »
Pro-Life Democrats Struggle with Clinton Challenging Status Quo

Not much about the 2016 presidential campaign has been business as usual. In addition to nominating two divisive candidates, both parties are challenging major political measures that have long been off the table.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump promises to repeal the Johnson Amendment—the 60-year-old tax code statute that bans churches and other tax-exempt nonprofits from endorsing political candidates.

On the Democratic side, it’s the Hyde Amendment—the legislative provision that prevents the federal government from directly funding abortions.

Hillary Clinton has taken up Hyde on the campaign trail, saying it keeps low-income women on Medicaid from affording the procedure, particularly with stricter regulations from states and tighter funding for Planned Parenthood. It’s an unusual move, even for pro-choice politicians, who typically accept Hyde’s restrictions as a compromise with pro-life counterparts.

Her challenge shakes things up for Democrats who lean pro-life or support certain restrictions on abortions—including her Catholic running mate Tim Kaine. The Virginia senator reversed his support of the amendment once he joined the Clinton campaign.

Former Obama White House faith director Michael Wear and Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission president Russell Moore criticized the position in a USA Today op-ed:

… for the past 25 years, the Democratic Party, at least rhetorically, acknowledged that compelling taxpayers to fund abortions was a step too far in the culture wars. If the call to repeal the Hyde Amendment remains in the Democratic platform, that era is officially over. A party that calls for government funding of abortion does not merely disagree with pro-life Americans, but wants to implicate them through their government of supporting what they believe is a moral evil.

According to the Pew Research Center, 28 percent of Democrats believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases (compared to 59 percent of Republicans). A separate Pew study found that almost half of evangelical Democrats agree:

Meanwhile, about one-third of white evangelicals say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. This percentage has stayed steady since 2007.

Democrats for Life counts 21 million pro-life voters in the party—which is why the attack on the Hyde Amendment concerns the group.

“Removing even a nod toward ‘religious liberty’ from the platform puts Democrats at fundamental odds with the many religious organizations whose mission is nonviolence and protection of the most vulnerable,” wrote executive director Kristen Day and Fordham University professor Charles Camosy.

The move to repeal Hyde “means the party that is supposedly on the side of justice for the vulnerable no longer welcomes those of us who #ChooseBoth; that is, those of us who want the government to protect and support prenatal children and their mothers,” they said.

Pro-life Democrats in Congress have been cut in half again and again, due to redistricting and retirements plus the Obamacare debate. A defamation suit between Steve Driehaus and the Susan B. Anthony List encapsulated the tensions.

The Hyde Amendment has been added as a budget rider since 1976—recently preventing Obamacare dollars from being directly spent on abortion. As the progressive site Think Progress reported, the Hyde Amendment set the status quo for federal abortion policy and “spawned similar restrictions banning abortion coverage for government employees, Peace Corps volunteers, federal inmates, military personnel, and Native American women.”

Clinton’s push to repeal Hyde could also be a turnoff for Hispanic Democrats, who are largely Catholic and evangelical, according to a recent CT op-ed.

Pew found that 17 percent of white evangelicals side with Clinton in this election—and 10 percent of that is mainly opposition to Donald Trump.

Pew also found that abortion ranks near the bottom of the issues that white evangelicals are weighing in 2016. Only 52 percent labeled it "very important" for their choice of president:

CT has continued coverage of the 2016 presidential election, including an interview with Clinton biographer Kristen Du Mez on this week’s Quick to Listen podcast. CT also noted when being pro-life didn’t mean Republican.

Source: Pro-Life Democrats Struggle with Clinton Challenging Status Quo

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[Cfamily]Sexual Healing
« Reply #255 on: August 04, 2016, 07:00:36 AM »
Sexual Healing

Sexual Healing


Editor’s note: In their book Surprised by the Healer, Dr. Juli Slattery and Linda Dillow feature first-person stories from women they’ve interviewed. This excerpt from their book comes from a woman named Kathy.

I snuck into bed, barely moving the covers to avoid arousing my sleeping husband. I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking I had succeeded, but before long Scott rolled over and cradled me against his body. I automatically tensed and soon one tear slipped from my eye.

I was silently crying out, God, help me! Why can’t I be like other women? Although I tried to go along with my husband’s sexual advances, pain and fear once again won this battle. With a sigh of frustration, Scott rolled away, leaving a gap in our marriage bed. His bride of sixteen years couldn’t perform the one act that brings such closeness to other couples. I’d failed again. As Scott fell asleep, a flood of tears wet my pillow.

What was wrong with me? How had our marriage come to be filled with so much pain?

For the first seven years of our marriage, we enjoyed a pleasurable sex life and often went on getaways to celebrate our love. We brought our son home from the hospital on our fifth wedding anniversary; soon after I became pregnant with our daughter. We were a happy couple with a good marriage, but after I gave birth to our second child, I experienced postpartum pain during intercourse. I told my doctor about the problem, but he could find nothing physically wrong. The severe stinging pain continued and got worse over the next several months. I returned to my doctor, but he said I should just have a glass of wine and relax and then the discomfort would go away. But it didn’t. My perfectionistic tendencies and shame kept me from telling anyone else, including my husband, about the pain I was experiencing. For over two years I hid my pain and tears.

With two toddlers and a full-time job, I felt I was justified in telling Scott that I was too tired for sex. But I couldn’t avoid all of his sexual advances. Every attempt at intercourse felt like a violation, and I soon began to fear and avoid sexual intimacy. In time it became difficult to have intercourse at all. Finally, I broke down and told Scott of my pain. He was afraid to hurt me further and for a time, all intimacy stopped.

Words can never express the depth of communication provided by physical intimacy. Sex helps to say “I’m sorry” or “Thank you.” It physically expresses “I love you,” “We’re in this together,” or “I think you’re beautiful.” In our marriage this kind of communication came to a screeching halt and our relationship suffered greatly.

Source: Sexual Healing

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