Reeder: Australian same-sex marriage survey a ‘profile in cowardice’ not courage


 

 

 

 

 

 

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TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, today, let’s go Down Under. Australia World Magazine is reporting Australians have voted in favor of same-sex marriage in a postal survey that could lead to legal reforms before the end of the year.

Australia’s Bureau of Statistics on Wednesday of last week announced 61.6 percent of voters supported same-sex marriage while 38.4 percent voted against it. Nearly 80 percent of the more than 16 million registered voters cast ballots on the mail-in referendum.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on lawmakers to heed the overwhelming result and commit to passing a same-sex marriage bill by the end of next month.

Liberal senator, Dean Smith, on Wednesday introduced a bill, but conservative lawmakers are pushing to amend the bill to allow businesses the right to refuse services such as photography, wedding cakes, etc.

DR. REEDER: It’s interesting, the two contrastive points of leadership. One is the present prime minister, Turnbull, who was an advocate of same-sex marriage but, instead of introducing the policy, having it debated and then voted on, he decided to go the route of opening up this for a referendum.

It was billed as a, quote, “survey,” but he said, “Let’s do it in such a way that we can get a sense of what the people want.” The leadership of today’s progressives is pretty much, “Let’s influence the culture, get the drumbeat of the culture, put our finger in the wind to get the direction of the culture and then get on the trajectory in order to profit from the direction of the culture.”

Of course, great leaders do not ride the trajectory of the culture to where it’s going – great leaders will get engaged in the culture to lead it where it ought to go.

At least Prime Minister Turnbull should have come out and said, “I believe that thousands of years of Western civilization was dead wrong when it said, A.), sex belongs in marriage and, B.), marriage is one man and one woman for one life. That actually, all of those years, we were closet bigots so now we have come to this enlightened position in life where we can call something a marriage when, in reality, by definition, that’s a myth.”

By definition, a marriage is a covenantal, monogamous, heterosexual, conjugal relationship designed to encourage the procreation and nurture of the next generation providing both a father and a mother.

You can’t have good families without a solid definition and practice of marriage. By the way, we have a lot of broken families where people are heroically attempting to do the best that they can and churches and individuals and extended families surround them to assist them.

However, still, the ideal is to pursue that which God has created: to function in a family foundationally secured by a marriage between a man and a woman that then sets up a father and mother relationship that every child needs to develop physically, socially, mentally and spiritually in a healthy way.

At least Prime Minister Turnbull should say, “All of that was bigotry. We are now enlightened so that we now have a marriage where conjugal cannot take place and procreation cannot take place without medical and cosmetic machinations. So now that we have redefined everything, we are the enlightened ones.”

At least he should have come out and tried to make the irrational rational in his leadership. On the contrary, he went to a survey.

Now, why did he do that? He knew that all the resources from outside of Australia and it’s documented, the unbelievable resources that were poured into Australia with one basic message, “Don’t be on the wrong side of history.

Look at the European nations, look at the United States, look at all of these countries that have now approved the irrational act of declaring same-sex relationships can be fulfilled in a marriage and that marriage can be defined as a same-sex relationship.”

They did all of that, they knew the resources would come, they came in, and, sure enough, they focused in the right areas demographically. In the rural areas and in the religious areas, they didn’t do much because they knew they were going to lose that vote and they did, about 30 to 40 percent of Australia has some profession of a sober commitment to a religious world and life view and that showed up in the vote.

Now, you have the movement legislatively covered by the, quote/unquote, “survey,” and this is a profile in cowardice, not a profile in courage.

And, in contrast to that is a previous prime minister, whose name was Tony Abbott, who came out and said, “If you vote for this, be assured you have just destroyed two things in our country. One will be freedom of speech and the other will be freedom of religion.”

Not only will churches be coerced to engage in this – and they will use government pressure to make churches instruments of conspiracy to make the unthinkable thinkable and then doable – and that is same-sex marriage. But they will also then bring it to bear upon people attempting to live out their faith in their lives such as photographers and bakers, as we have seen here in America.

They will now have to participate in what they believe is evil and sinful, and that is the blasphemy of reconstructing marriage into a mythical definition of same-sex marriage. Now, the power of the state will be brought to bear.

Finally, let me say this, Tom: this is exactly what the trajectory of the Western civilization is. It’s on a trajectory of God’s judgment as blasphemy continues and the sanctity of life being destroyed in the culture of death, the sanctity of marriage, the sanctity of sexuality within marriage.

God is very clear about this. In the Book of Leviticus, Chapters 18 and 19, God says this to his people: “Do not become like the nations that surround you.” The pressure on Australia was, “The other nations have done it. Now you need to do it.” God said to his people, “Don’t become like the other nations and don’t engage in their sexual immorality and perversion.”

And He says this, “If you become like the other nations and men lie with men and women lie with women,” – and this is His language – “I will, like a feather tickles the throat, I will tickle the land to vomit you out.” And that is God’s promised judgment upon those who say, “We will be like the other nations and abandon the underpinnings of Christian ethics throughout the culture.”

If you look globally, you can see where this is happening: Europe, North America and now in Australia. Those are nations that, at one time, had been rescued from sexual barbarity and had been blessed with a Biblical ethic of family, marriage and sexuality and God had blessed those nations with stability and continued growth.

Now, these nations have returned to barbarity and why? Because of an impotent, illiterate, and apathetic church that no longer is salt and light. The very areas where you see the cultural demise of marriage and sexuality and family are the areas that it is documented the lack of impact of the church.

In opposition, take a look in Africa and take a look in South America. In those areas where the church is growing, and burgeoning, and staying on-mission and on-message and on-ministry, these movements have no foothold.

On the contrary, they refuse to embrace same-sex marriage. They refuse to undergird abortion in their cultures. It is no accident that Australia is going the way of the other nations and it is no accident that, in the church and the nations that are perverting marriage, sexuality, family and life, the church is impotent and illiterate.

Oh, dear Lord, please grant us a movement of the Gospel. Reclaim your people to vitality and send a message of life into the culture as we go and make disciples of all the nations.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin. Jessica is editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

14 hours ago

Goat Island Brewing is an Alabama Maker concocting interesting beers

Their slogan is “Life is too short to drink baaad beer” and Goat Island Brewing Co. is doing its part to produce nothing but good brews in Cullman.

Started by a couple of homebrewing friends, Goat Island has added a head brewer, who is a microbiology major with no homebrewing history. The result is an array of tasty beers that are finding a following in northern Alabama.

“People across the board love all of our beers,” said Mike Mullaney, president and co-founder of Goat Island Brewing. “If you want to come in and have a whole bunch of good, variety of craft beers that have a lot of flavor, try us out.”

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Goat Island Brewing is an Alabama Maker of interesting beers from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The brewery is open to community events and fundraisers in Cullman.

“I like the fact that we are kind of a cultural community center,” Mullaney said.

With seven beers on tap – excluding a seasonal or a small batch – there is always something for any beer drinker. The Blood Orange Berliner Weisse is the bestselling beer on tap, and keeping up with the demand has been a little challenging. A new canning line should help.

The growth is welcome, but the beer has to be the star.

“We always emphasize quality and making sure everything we put out of here is up to the highest standard,” said Paul White, head brewer and operations manager.

Goat Island Brewing Company

The product: Craft beer.

Take home: A growler of Blood Orange Berliner Weisse.

Goat Island Brewing Co. can be found online and on Facebook Twitter and Instagram.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

16 hours ago

Renew Our Rivers kicks off 21st year

The third decade of Renew Our Rivers (ROR) gets underway in February with the first of the year’s 32 cleanups of Alabama rivers and waterways. If last year is any indication, there will be more volunteers and more trash removed in 2020, said Mike Clelland, ROR coordinator.

Since 2000, when the program began, 122,000 volunteers have collected almost 16 million pounds from waterways and shorelines in the South. In 2019, more than 5,000 volunteers removed almost 450,000 pounds of trash, including old boats, mattresses, tires, appliances and other unsightly items, a 4% increase over the previous year’s haul.

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“We not only picked up more trash in 2019. We also had more volunteers,” said Clelland, an Environmental Affairs specialist for Alabama Power who helps coordinate the cleanups with multiple partners. “Twenty years in and the enthusiasm and participation remain strong. I fully expect 2020 to be just as successful as 2019, if not more so.”

An Alabama River cleanup in Autauga County on Feb. 15 leads off this year’s schedule, which concludes the first week of November at Lake Martin.

Volunteers elevate Alabama through Renew Our Rivers from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Renew Our Rivers began in 2000 with a cleanup by Alabama Power employees along the Coosa River at the company’s Plant Gadsden. It has grown to become one of America’s largest river cleanup initiatives, with the help of community partners, volunteers and organizations.

“Alabama is a beautiful place with extraordinary natural resources,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president for Environmental Affairs. “Protecting those resources, while providing reliable, affordable electricity for our customers, is at the heart of our company’s mission. The commitment by Alabama Power employees to Renew Our Rivers remains strong, but we couldn’t do it without the support of our community partners across the state who support the effort year after year.”

Renew Our Rivers is one of many initiatives in which Alabama Power partners with others to promote conservation and environmental stewardship in communities across the state. The 2020 schedule of Renew Our Rivers cleanups is below. For updates to the schedule, visit alabamapower.com/renewourrivers.

2020 Renew Our Rivers Schedule

Feb. 15: Alabama River

Contact: John Paul O’Driscoll at 334-850-7153

or johnpaulod@juno.com

 

Feb. 29: Bankhead Lake (Warrior River)

Contact: Ronnie Tew at 205-908-4857

 

March 7: Lake Eufaula (Chattahoochee River)

Contact: Brad Moore at bmooreless@gosuto.com

 

March 14: Valley Creek (Spring)

Contact: Freddie Freeman at 205-424-4060, ext. 4188

or ffreeman@bessemeral.org

 

March 21: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)

Contact: Mike Clelland at 205-354-9348

 

March 28-April 4: Logan Martin (Coosa River)

Contact: Bud Kitchin at 256-239-0242

 

March 28: Minor Heights Community at Village Creek

Contact: Yohance Owens at 205-798-0087

or yohancevilcreek@yahoo.com

 

March 28-April 4: Lay Lake (Coosa River)

Contact: Judy Jones at 205-669-4865

 

April 11: Lay Lake at E.C. Gaston Plant (Coosa River)

Contact: Tanisha Fenderson at tfender@southernco.com

 

April 4: Cahaba River

Contact: David Butler at

info@cahabariverkeeper.org

 

April 14-15: Mobile River (Plant Barry)

Contact: Bo Cotton at 251-331-0603

 

April 18: Lake Jordan (Coosa River)

Contact: Brenda Basnight 334-478-3388

 

Date TBD: Plant Miller (Locust Fork)

Contact: TBD

 

April 22-23: Smith Lake (Winston County)

Contact: Allison Cochran at 205-489-5111

 

April 24: Smith Lake (Cullman County)

Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

 

April 25: Weiss Lake

Contact: Sam Marko at 404-626-8594

 

May 1: Plant Gorgas (Mulberry Fork)

Contact: John Pate at 205-686-2324

or johpate@southernco.com

 

May 15: Lake Seminole

Contact: Melanie Rogers at mlrogers@southernco.com

 

May 16: Chattahoochee River (Plant Farley)

Contact: Melanie Rogers at mlrogers@southernco.com

 

May 18-19: Smith Lake (Walker County)

Contact: Roger Treglown at 205-300-5253

 

Aug. 8: Holt Lake (Black Warrior River)

Contact: Becky Clark at 205-799-2449

 

Aug. 14: Plant Miller (Locust Fork)

Contact: Madison Maughon at 205-438-0150

or mtmaugho@southernco.com

 

Aug. 15: Valley Creek

Contact: TBD

 

Aug. 15: Upper Tallapoosa River

Contact: Lex Brown at 256-239-6399

 

Sept: 8-9: Smith Lake (Walker County)

Contact: Roger Treglown at 205-300-5253

 

Date TBD: Village Creek

Contact: Yohance Owens at 205-798-0087

 

Sept.18: Smith Lake (Cullman County)

Contact: Jim Murphy at 205-529-5981

 

Sept. 24: Smith Lake (Winston County)

Contact: Jim Eason at msgjeason@yahoo.com

 

Oct. 2-3: Lake Demopolis

Contact: Jesse Johnson at 334-289-6160 or 251-238-1257

 

Oct. 13: Dog River (Mobile County)

Contact: Catie Boss at 251-829-2146 or clboss@southernco.com

 

Oct.17: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)

Contact: Dale Vann at 205-910-3713

 

Oct. 20-22: Lake Harris (Tallapoosa River-Lake Wedowee)

Contact: Sheila Smith at 205-396-5093

or Marlin Glover at 770-445-0824

 

Oct. 26-31: Neely Henry Lake (Coosa River)

Contact: Lisa Dover at 256-549-0900

 

Nov. 6-7: Lake Martin (Tallapoosa River)

Contact: John Thompson at 334-399-3289

or 1942jthompson420@gmail.com

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

18 hours ago

Time-lapse video of Birmingham’s new downtown interstate bridges

The new Interstate 59/20 bridges through downtown Birmingham are scheduled to open within the next few days, 12 months after they were closed for replacement.

The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) announced Jan. 13 the contractor, Johnson Brothers Corp., would have the bridges completed and ready to open no later than Jan. 21. The interstate bridges were closed to traffic Jan. 21, 2019, as part of ALDOT’s phased repair plan for the more than 45-year-old bridges.

Alabama Power recorded the demolition and construction of the western half of the bridges from a 17th-floor window overlooking the junction of the bridges with I-65. The 12-month recording was condensed into a one-minute time-lapse video.

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Time-lapse video of Birmingham bridges replacement from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony was scheduled for Friday, Jan. 17 at 2:00 p.m. Once the bridges reopen to traffic, ALDOT says crews will spend the rest of 2020 repairing detours and completing work around the bridges. Plans to develop public space underneath the bridges are not yet finalized.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

19 hours ago

Roby: More flexibility for America’s working parents

The American workforce has witnessed considerable change in dynamics during the 21st Century: it is more diverse than ever before.

Statistics consistently show the percentage of U.S. families with at least one working parent is on the rise, and it’s no secret that today’s working parents struggle to balance the demands required of them by their jobs and their children.

Time is the most precious resource, especially for mothers and fathers who are putting forth their best efforts to manage families while simultaneously excel in their careers. These hard-working parents deserve and need more choice and flexibility in their daily schedules in order to accomplish both. As a working mom myself, I understand the challenges parents face in managing these responsibilities. I always say that Congress cannot legislate another hour into the day, but we can update our laws to allow more choice and fairness in how employees choose to use their time.

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As the dynamics of the workplace have changed over time, our policies that govern the workplace have not adapted to keep up with these changes. I am proud to again introduce the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2020. This piece of legislation offers compensatory time, or “comp time,” benefits in lieu of cash wages for overtime, allowing private-sector workers the same opportunity that currently exists in the public sector.

This bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and removes an outdated and unnecessary federal restriction on the use of comp time in the private sector for hourly employees. Comp time would be completely voluntary for the employer and employee with strong worker protections to prohibit coercion. This is the same legislation I have introduced numerous times, and it passed the House on several occasions. This change in law would provide more flexibility for working moms and dads who need more time to manage their families.

Think about it this way: should a working dad be forced to use all of his vacation time to be involved in his child’s school? Should a military mom have to take sick leave in order to make sure her child is properly taken care of? Whether it’s a parent coaching a child’s sports team, caring for a sick or elderly family member, or getting children to and from school and extracurricular activities, family responsibilities often require parents to take time away from work.

As times have changed, so have demands on our time. This is one proposal that would offer private-sector American workers more freedom and more control over their time in order to spend it the way they choose. This piece of legislation is about the working moms and dads across the country who value their time. I am honored to introduce this bill again in order to show my support for all of the working parents across our nation and to hopefully make life a little easier for the moms and dads in our American workforce.

Martha Roby represents Alabama’s Second Congressional District. She lives in Montgomery, Alabama, with her husband Riley and their two children.

20 hours ago

Alabama hunter grants wishes for kids

Jeff Carter didn’t have a plan in 2011 when he started Pine Hills and Oak Hollars Child Classic, an organization that takes sick kids on a weekend hunting trip in northwest Alabama.

“At that time I really didn’t know what it looked like,” Carter said. “The Lord put it on my heart and he called me to do this. We stepped out on faith.”

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Pine Hills and Oak Hollars Child Classic grants wishes for kids from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Carter’s faith paid off. The event, now in its ninth year, has grown from a hunting trip for one child into an extended weekend experience for three kids at a time. The kids are selected through the United Special Sportsman Alliance, all recovering from a life-threatening illness, such as cancer, or a life-altering disorder like autism.

“This is just an opportunity that God has given us to be able to give these kids and their families a chance to get away and get their mind off of a lot of what they’ve been dealing with,” Carter said.

Beau Terry, 18, is one of the young people hunting in this year’s classic. Terry said he was thrilled to get the chance.

“It’s kind of like having a lot of uncles around,” Terry said. “It means a lot.”

In addition to the hunting trip, the kids are given hunting clothes, a DVD video of their weekend and a canvas picture. Carter said their smiles are a blessing to him and his volunteers.

“It’s awesome,” Carter said. “When God calls us to do something, there’s no sense in worry about how much and how, just step out on faith and roll with it because he’s got it figured out already. He will provide.”

For more information about the Pine Hills and Oak Hollars Child Classic, visit the organization’s Facebook page here.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)