The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

Remembering RFK

(Wikicommons)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

WHAT DO WE SAY ABOUT RFK AND THE ‘60s FIFTY YEARS LATER?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, Tuesday, we were talking about pop culture. We mentioned that it was 50 years ago that the Broadway musical, “Hair,” hit the stage. It was known not only for its music, but it also introduced live nudity to Broadway.

Another event from 50 years ago that we’re remembering this month is that it was 50 years ago last week that Robert F. Kennedy, who was 42 at the time, stepped off a dais in the ballroom of the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after declaring victory in California’s presidential primary. Moments later, he walked through the kitchen to greet the hotel’s busboys and dishwashers and a lone gunman assassinated the New York senator. Harry, looking back 50 years, your thoughts?  

DR. REEDER: You not only have this shot across the bow in the promotion and acceptance of public nudity in the media, but you also had these signal events such as the assassination of Martin Luther King, then Robert Francis Kennedy. He was and is and was increasingly an impact figure carrying the mantle of his brother, the heir apparent to take this to another level.

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Robert Francis Kennedy had become known as a crusader against certain aspects of corruption and racism. Many question whether or not his assassination might have been somewhat tied to the crime world and his enmity against Hoffa. He was quite the crusader against communism in that he had aligned himself with the famed — or infamous, however you see it — McCarthy.

Now, as Lyndon Baines Johnson’s popularity waned, he was being challenged in the primary and RFK saw his opportunity. He quickly rose to the forefront and this signal victory in California seemed to be a declaration that our next president was likely going to be Robert Francis Kennedy.

However, walking through the kitchen, there was a predisposed attempt to assassinate him that was successful and it later became known both the individual that did it and his professed rationale. Sirhan Sirhan was captured and confessed.

RFK IS A MAN TO REMEMBER AS WE HOPE FOR NEW LEADERS

Robert Kennedy had been assigned to John F. Kennedy by his father. In other words, when John F. Kennedy was running for president, Robert Francis Kennedy was the campaign manager. And he was the campaign manager not because he had had experience in running campaigns, but because he had a demonstrated ability of loyalty, a crusader mentality and he also became known as “the fixer” in that he could fix problems and situations. Everyone is fully aware of the documented and acknowledged lascivious lifestyle and all of that needed to be “fixed.”

He was also there because he had some sway, not to change his brother’s behavior, but to restrain his brother’s behavior. In other words, he wasn’t as lascivious as he would have been because RFK was a devoted, practicing Roman Catholic, he was a devoted husband to his wife and he loved his brother so, from their affection and his moral sensibilities, he was a restrainer upon John F. Kennedy.

After the campaign and John Kennedy was elected, he became the attorney general. Recently, in the Trump administration, there’s been a lot of talk about Trump’s family getting positions — well, there was something pretty much unheard of that the president would appoint his brother as the attorney general. And, by the way, his brother, while having legal credentials, had never tried a case in a public court of any significance whatsoever and so he was there pretty much by influence and power of the family and appointment of his brother.

That became the base for his own political ambitions. With that track report as attorney general, his election as senator, he was clearly for the presidential nomination when he was tragically assassinated.

PROTESTS SPURRED RACIAL CHANGE

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, looking back to 1968, that was a hard year for America. It was a difficult spring that year. Two months prior to Bobby Kennedy’s assassination — almost to the day — Martin Luther King was shot and killed and that was followed by a number of very intense riots in major cities all across the country.

DR. REEDER: By the way, smaller cities, Tom, you reside in Greenville, North Carolina, which, that year, I resided in Greenville, North Carolina. I remember, as a student at East Carolina at the time, the riots that were breaking out in Greenville.

As you look back on that era, here’s a group of people who the legacy of Jim Crow laws had relegated them into segments of society without being able to participate in society and they had to fight each line of society during that civil rights movement. Therefore, you had the permissiveness that was starting in terms of the sexual revolution, you had the advancements, rightly in terms of constitutional rights for all of the citizens and the dismantling of Jim Crow laws and then you had this violence of assassinations that were taking place and also riots that were taking place.

It was a highly tumultuous time. I was not fully aware of things at that time, but I was enough aware to realize that there are some major fault lines that are either going to be repaired or developed within our society.

JESUS MOVEMENT OF ‘60s TRIED TO ENGAGE BUT WAS NOT DEEP ENOUGH

However, Tom, there was something else that was given birth at that time that provided great hope and it was called “the Jesus movement.” It was birthed, interestingly, in the California area as beach evangelism began to take place, surfer evangelism. And this Jesus movement began that was highly effective and while some of the methodology was interesting of the “evangelists,” most of them were pretty solid in terms of the essentials of the Gospel, itself.

You had this movement of an expansive Christianity, particularly, in the lives of students and all of this was intersecting in the late 1960s and I believe this year, 1968, was crucial. My own evaluation now is that the movement of statism and secularism actually more or less won the day. That was because the movement of the Gospel in the revivals that were taking place did not go deep enough.

It was a good breadth movement of evangelism, but it didn’t go deep enough in discipleship and God’s glorious institution of the church was not engaged and not brought into that revival the way that it should have been — therefore, its effectiveness began to fade even as humanism and statism under a political and moral theology of liberalism continued to expand.

THAT TIME ALSO SPAWNED NEW CHURCHES AND DENOMINATIONS

And, at the same time, Tom, there was the beginning of the death spiral of mainline Protestant denominations as theological liberalism had taken hold. Theological liberalism is never creative, it is never expansive — it is parasitic and it is destructive — and so that was the beginning of the death spiral of the mainline Protestant denominations.

My own Presbyterian Church in America began to be born at that time and, of course, the tragic thing is the influence of a robust evangelical Christianity was lost because now millions of members in Protestant mainline churches were being spiritually starved through theological liberalism and the rise of a “social Gospel” to meet the social needs instead of the Gospel of transforming and redeeming power of our Savior, Jesus Christ, with the full authority of the inerrant Word of God.

That was removed and, in its place was merely a philosophic view of religion that was ultimately destructive to what had been the most powerful force in our culture at the time, the mainline denominations.

THE GOSPEL ENDURES AND STILL CHANGES PEOPLE (AND CULTURES) TODAY

Tom, when you look back at 1968, here we are 50 years later, 2018. As people can see, we are trying to do our best to not simply look at a Christian world and life view, but as you say each week, a Christian world and life view on these issues with Gospel solutions.

Changed cultures are not our objective; it is changed lives by the power of the Gospel. Consequentially, with changed lives comes changed families, changed marriages and changed cultures, but what we want to focus on is not only the power of the Gospel to give you a new heart and a new record, but also to give you a new mind so that your mind can be renewed and transformed to see life to the glory of God because of the power of the grace of God that is found in Jesus Christ.

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

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

 

Are Evangelical mothers happy?

(Pixabay)

NEW STUDY SHOWS CHRISTIAN WOMEN ARE HAPPY, BUT FEEL SLIGHT MOM GUILT

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I want to take you to a story that Christianity Today featured recently. It was a story concerning research that Pew Research had done. Pew Research found that evangelical mothers score high for balance and satisfaction in parenting. Yet here is the question they ask, “Why do they keep facing so much pressure?” Based on the numbers, evangelical moms should be the happiest on the block, Christianity Today reported.

During a cultural moment when American mothers are feeling the acute tension around balancing their roles and responsibilities, evangelicals report being particularly satisfied with the time they spend parenting. In a Pew Research Center data breakdown by faith group, more than three-quarters of evangelical mothers say they spend just about the right amount of time with their children.

Over half — that’s more than moms or dads in any other religious group — say they actually have enough time to socialize and pursue their other hobbies. And yet moms in evangelical churches across America say they are struggling with mom guilt, burnout, and parenting pressures.

DR. REEDER: I’ve read that report and it’s almost like a magazine looking to create something that didn’t seem to be there. What I read from the survey was, “Well, we’re satisfied. What we’re feeling from the culture is we’re not supposed to be satisfied. The guilt is we should be out working and not just focusing on parenting.”

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THE GREAT “WORKING MOM” DEBATE

Are there moms who can properly prioritize their nurturing role in the lives of their children, particularly at those crucial young ages where that child is so drawn to a mom? I mean, it’s mom that they’re drawn to for nourishment; it’s mom they’re drawn to for comfort. Dads are there and they can change the diaper, and they can pick this up, and do that, and provide this and provide that but there’s no…

I see it all the time, Tom. We have our covenantal baptism of believing parents and their covenant children and would you like to know how many times when I take that baby, that baby starts screaming? And we’ll get through the baptism and then I hand that child back to the mother and guess what happens?

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Silence?

DR. REEDER: Silence. That’s home base. They know exactly where they are. I remember our children and how Cindy was able to help our two daughters experience that — it didn’t take long. And I love the fact of how, when a child is born now, they immediately place the child not in the hands of the dad, but place the child right there with the mom, right from the very beginning.

GUILT IS OFTEN EXTERNALLY PLACED BY SOCIETY

The guilt that, “I love that and I’m prioritizing that because the world is telling me I’m supposed to love something else and I’m supposed to diminish that.” Well, I would just encourage you to keep doing it and, for all of you men who are ready to go out there and take a second job — you and your wife are both working and then you had a child and she says, “I really want to stay home and nurture the child and you go out and take on a second job,” or you cut back on your budget, that is a great thing to do because you, as a father, are able to do those things that allow your wife to do that which God gave her a great heart and God equipped her to do that you can’t do but what you can do is free her up to do that.

Now, can a woman work outside the home? Absolutely. Do women go to work outside the home or bring work inside the home? And, by the way, it’s not, “Oh, do you work or do you stay at home?” because stay-at-home moms work, I can promise you that. My goodness, I can’t imagine all that they do, and what they make work and how they get it accomplished. I love to see a home that’s functioning on all eight cylinders that way.

If you want to see a woman that, clearly, her children were not in those early nurturing years but have grown up, you just go read that Proverbs 31 woman. My goodness alive, what a woman. I think she’s got an “S” on her t-shirt — that’s got to be superwoman. She’s got a real estate business, she’s got a manufacturing business, she’s got employees that she takes care of, she sews for her children, she takes care of them — they’ve not only got clothes, but they’ve got clothes that look like regal clothes. They’re clothed in purple and they’ve got belts. And, by the way, she’s not only got a business, but she manages her employees. She makes these products and she sells them. She is considering land and buying it and planting vineyards. Wow, what a woman.

GOD GAVE SPECIAL GRACE TO WOMEN

Well, listen, that may be a composite woman, to tell you the truth, but here’s what I know: what God is teaching us in this is that her work outside the home, if you’ll read it carefully, never is in competition with her call as a wife and a mother. It is an extension and an enablement of and an enhancement of because, at the end of it, it says this: her husband is honored in the gates — not laughed at, but honored — and her children rise up and they call her blessed because they have felt the impact of this woman as she has worked in, around and outside of that home and has embraced the great call she has that only a woman can do and that is have a child within the boundaries of marriage and nurture that child so that that child might grow in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

And, alongside of her husband, have children that are not the reason for their unity, but the result of their unity and then their greatest joy is to prepare those children to leave them and cleave to someone for a lifetime partnership as men and women marry in and for the Lord.

Why sports gambling is a terrible idea

(W.Miller from C. Karl/Flickr)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

SPORTS GAMBLING — NOW STATE DECISION

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, about two weeks ago, the United States Supreme Court decided to allow states to make their own decisions when it comes to sports gambling. The case Murphy v. National Collegian Athletic Association dealt with if the government had the right to impermissibly commandeer the regulatory powers of the states. The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected a New Jersey law back in 2016 ruling that the statute violated the Federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which forbids state-authorized sports gambling.

Harry, if you look at states’ rights, this might be a good thing, but if you look at gambling, this might be a bad thing. What do you say?

HARRY REEDER: I have to side with the Supreme Court on this and this is an individual who is utterly opposed to any form of gambling authorized by the state, particularly when the state begins to build its revenue base from such activity.

I find the gambling dynamic as a significant and treacherous labyrinth. What this is likely to lead to, which is state-approved sports gambling, something that is, I think, rather frightening for professional and amateur sports as well as what happens in the lives of families and marriages.

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It’s always the people who can afford this the least who are going to get the most involved with it. It’s not going to be a relief to the taxpayer — on the contrary, this is going to develop all kinds of expenses in the states that allow sports gambling.

SPORTS GAMBLING BACKGROUND

Let’s get back to the decision just for a moment. The PASPA Law, as it’s called from 1992, was building on past laws that had been embraced. Much of this goes back to the White Sox Scandal — or the Black Sox Scandal — where gambling got ahold and you had an entire World Series that allegedly, and more than likely, was affected by gambling. We all know about the “Say it ain’t so, Joe,” the “Shoeless Joe Jackson” fiasco and banned from sports, the commissioner comes in, Judge Kennesaw Landis, “I’ll rule him with an iron fist.” You walk into dugouts in minor league and major league ballparks and, as soon as you walk in the dugout, you’re going to see the listing that prohibits gambling and it will cost you your career.

Well, now, it looks like, as my friend Eric Johnson said, Pete Rose was just born out of season because that’s exactly what did him in and why he’s not in the Hall of Fame because he was found guilty of betting on sports events.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Well, don’t you think that will continue, though? They don’t want the players to get involved or the managers to get involved.

HARRY REEDER: Well, it’s going to be very difficult to outlaw it within the sport if they are not betting on themselves or their own teams. In other words, they’ll be able to go and bet on other sports or even bet on other teams within baseball. At best, you can only pass a rule within the professional team.

WHAT HAPPENS TO SPORTS WHEN GAMBLING IS INVOLVED

That’s obviously way down the road because now it goes to the states, but it’s very clear that the states are hungry for the revenue that sports gambling is going to bring. However, No. 1, when you open up sports gambling, you are going to find the manipulation of professional sports. Gamblers are a lot smarter and they are going to find a way to control the outcome of games. And it’s not always who is going to win or lose, but it’s the spread that they will try to control.

And, of course, it’s legendary how you get referees, how you get umpires, how you get a particular key pitcher. The guy that usually scores 30 points and that’s how his team wins, all of a sudden, he’s scoring 24 points. Well, what are you going to say to a guy that’s scoring six points less but that’s just enough to tilt the game. And that’s all out there on the horizon — everybody knows it and that’s why we have these regulations.

STATES’ RIGHTS?

Now, let me just say this is clearly the conservatives that are voting on this and they’re voting to strike down PAPSCA because they believe it’s a violation of the 10th Amendment, which means a violation of states rights that this is something that each state should do that you cannot have a federal law that can control the states.

If this now allows the states to move ahead — and there will be states that move ahead — not only are you going to find a degrading effect upon professional and amateur sports, cut you’re also going to find an impact in the lives of homes and families. Sports gambling may be the most addictive of all and, when people get involved in this and they get into the addictive behavior and they begin to lose the money, well, now we’re going to have welfare rolls, we’re going to have broken homes, we’re going to have children that are going to have to be taken care of, we’re going to have to provide counseling, we’re going to have marriage partners that are literally isolated because of the addiction in the life of their spouse.

GAMBLING DOES NOT RELIEVE TAX BURDEN

There’s no doubt that that’s what gambling is going to do. It’ll be promised, “We’re going to open up sports gambling, get the revenues for the state and that will lower the tax burden.” Lotteries don’t lower tax burdens and neither will sports gambling, but what they will do is they will target segments of society that are the least positioned to be able to engage in such activities.

You’re going to see it move among those who are thinking they can strike it rich really quickly with a sports bet and what they’re going to gain in their life and that’s going to set everything right. And sports gamblers are going to target these segments of society so it actually becomes a regressive tax on the people that can afford it the least. And it also will not provide revenue that will lower the other taxes, on the contrary, the other taxes are likely to go up because you’re going to have to deal with the social, marital, personal and familial effects of what these addictive activities are going to do.

GAMBLING IN ALABAMA?

Therefore, in a sense, I agree with the Supreme Court ruling because I think they were right that this was a violation of the 10th Amendment that invaded the states rights to make these decisions. Now, let me speak to my own state, Alabama: We actually have passed laws to prevent a state lottery and I am very grateful we have been able to do that now for 20 years. The gambling interest here is unbelievably strong trying to reach into our state and we’ve been able to stave it off because of the wording of our anti-lottery legislation in Alabama. Anything that involves chance such as sports gambling, our legislators cannot pass sports gambling — they will have to bring it as a referendum to the entire voting population of Alabama and it’ll have to go to the state for a vote. It can’t be done clandestinely through our senators and legislators. There are already 14 states lined up to pass this and my prediction is there’s going to be an avalanche of states moving now to approve sports gambling, amateur and professional.

TOM LAMPRECHT: And, Harry, there is so much talk right now of do we compensate athletes at the college level and, so far, the NCAA has opposed that. Now that you bring gambling into that, what is going to happen to these athletes that need extra cash? They’re going to be pretty vulnerable.

KEEP SPORTS WHAT THEY SHOULD BE

HARRY REEDER: The argument will be to remove the amateur status and now you’re going to have pay-for-play on the college level and the amateur level. That will be done as a supposed antidote to the ability of the gamblers to get ahold of the amateur players, but that will be insufficient, as well. It’ll just simply be, “Oh, you mean I’m making this amount of money for playing college baseball but if I let a few hits in and I throw up a few fat pitches, I can get that much more money?” There’s going to be a lot of young men put under some very significant pressure that we don’t need to have if we would just keep sports what they ought to be a training ground for life and not a fishing pole for those who try to manipulate the lives of others for their personal gain and the state that is willing to live off of degrading effects of gambling simply to try to garner its resources financially.

COMING UP FRIDAY: BIRTHRATE PANIC?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to an article out of The Wall Street Journal. American women are having children at the lowest rate on record with the number of babies born in the United States last year dropping to a 30-year low.

HARRY REEDER: And we’re going to look at something else, too, Tom, not only is our birthrate dropping 2 percent this last year and the implications of that, but also the fact that an increasing number of children are being born out of wedlock and now it’s become the discussion not, do we get married and should we have children, but let’s have children when we want to and then we’ll discuss whether we want to be married or not.

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

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