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What we can learn from the Alabama & Georgia quarterbacks’ post-game responses


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COLLEGE FOOTBALL’S BIG NIGHT AND BIG PRAISE FOR GOD

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, last Monday night, Alabama was heard around the world as Nick Saban won his sixth national championship. He now ties Bear Bryant.

DR. REEDER: Yeah, it was quite an event. It is an event in the midst of the city I serve, Birmingham, and my congregation, which is about 55/60 percent Auburn, 40 percent Alabama. I had to make a commitment and I said, “My commitment is this: I am not going to choose,” so I have the great joy of being able to pull for both Alabama and Auburn. A guy actually wrote me an email afterward and said, “I bet you’re an Alabama fan now.” Well, what I told my congregation when I came is, “Go Pirates.” People may not know this, but you live in Greenville, North Carolina and I went to East Carolina, my basic statement is always, “Since I’ve been here, I’ve loved Alabama and Auburn football, but it’s obvious that they’re scared of East Carolina because they refuse to schedule them each year.”

I will tell you this: I am a Tua fan and I am a Jake fan and I’m referring, of course, to the two true freshmen quarterbacks who performed in such a stellar fashion Monday night but, more than that, the way their perspective that was revealed in the post-game interview.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, it was encouraging how both quarterbacks, in the post-game show, their comments gave glory to God.

Tua Tagovailoa: “First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. With him, all things are possible. That’s what happened tonight. All glory goes to God. I can’t describe what He has done for me and my family.”

DR. REEDER: And after that he was actually asked a number of questions and he kept coming back to a God-centered world and life view. It was really encouraging. He actually apologized to his parents that he couldn’t say them first – he wanted to honor the Lord first. This young man from Hawaii is quite the talent, with a brother, Bo, coaching move was brought in and, with his courage, was able to follow through.

And, by the way, Jalen Hurts, the existing quarterback, his response was admirable in how he exhibited a team player attitude and was his No. 1 encourager in his route of success last night, even though he had replaced him.

However, what I wanted to really point out was his ability to do that and, not only that, the Jake Fromm response, too.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Indeed. Jake Fromm, who was the quarterback for the Georgia Bulldogs, said in a post-game tweet, “God is good all the time and all the time God is good. So thankful for an incredible season with all these seniors who have given so much to this university. They’ve set the standard for University of Georgia football. We will be back. Love my teammates and go Dawgs.”

DR. REEDER: Unlike many fans that I meet – football becomes a religion – but these two young men, one in victory and one in defeat, handled this so absolutely with equilibrium and with clarity and did what I love to see and that is when people are blessed of the Lord to be successful or blessed of the Lord with the adversity of defeat and failure, are able to keep their eyes on the Lord and exalt the Lord and use it as a platform to honor the Lord. I am a Tua and a Jake fan.

HOPE FOR FUTURE ATHLETES

I’m a fan of both of these young men and pray that the coming years of their success, they will continue to manifest not only the desire to honor Christ in every opportunity, both of them then immediately moved to their teammates and their coaches to honor them and then they kept avoiding personal promotion.

I’m just praying that they will continue to do that and to set a standard for our kids that are watching the athletes in the world today and to see that. I am hoping that opens up the hearts of a lot of young men and women who have athletic aspirations to see what happens when you have a heart-embraced world and life view that comes through in victory and defeat.

TRUMP’S IMPORTANT PRO-LIFE ACHIEVEMENTS

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, in our closing minutes, I’d like to switch gears. Coming up in just a couple of weeks is Sanctity of Life Sunday. We’ll also be noting on the calendar the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision – how many millions of lives have been taken as a result – but there’s actually some good news on the horizon.

Let me give you a couple of headlines. One, President Donald Trump has been recognized as Pro-Life Person of the Year for 2017. One of the most prominent pro-life groups in America has given its award to Trump, declaring him Pro-Life Person of the Year. That, according to Operation Rescue.

Another important headline, Harry, out of The Daily Wire, “Pro-life win on horizon: first state to be abortion clinic-free, the State of Kentucky.”

DR. REEDER: First of all, congratulations to President Trump. If you look at his actions since president in his first year, he has actually advanced the pro-life cause further, I believe, than any president. Now, we’ve had a number of presidents who affirmed their pro-life position, but he has advanced it with his Appeals Court and Supreme Court appointments, with his removal of the abortion mandate funding of the Obamacare, with other executive orders, and the Justice Department now doing its investigation of Planned Parenthood. That is rightly awarded to him and I’m grateful for what he’s done.

STATES SHUTTING DOWN ABORTION CLINICS

I’m also grateful for your second headline, to see a state become abortion clinic-free – in other words, to remove another genocidal business – Kentucky is about to take its place along with, I believe, it’s seven other states. And by the way, in Alabama, we are getting close, also. We’re close to removing all abortion clinics in Birmingham.

And, if you don’t mind, let me go ahead and say this: Saturday at 10:45 will be our gathering at Brother Brian Park, the legendary pastor of Third Presbyterian Church, the park that’s named for him who used to walk the streets to pray for the city. I love the full-orbed approach in Birmingham of adoption of ministry and of mercy to women in crisis, the picketing of the abortion clinics and now we’re closing them down – I think we’re down to one – the organizations that are speaking for the pro-life and moving forth legislation in local and state government. It’s been absolutely wonderful, Tom, to see all of that take place.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, if you go back to the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, many people prayed and hoped that we would get a Supreme Court decision, some sort of federal mandate/guidance/directive that would stop abortion. God has chosen a different path: one by one, we see these abortion clinics shutting down.

MINISTRY MUST EXTEND TO MEN, WOMEN, CHILDREN

DR. REEDER: And babies being saved one by one, as well, and women in crisis pregnancy being ministered to one by one, and the fathers who are certainly responsible for this, who have fathered these children. And the fact that the secular elite were absolutely convinced, once they got the judicial case established that this issue would disappear – the death industry upon unborn children would become a part of our culture.

Well, the fact is, it hasn’t and now, these many years later, and in the terrible, terrible, grievous statistic of 60+ million children who have lost their lives because they “were inconvenient,” the mistakes of the sexual revolution that had to be eliminated and then the whole notion that no one is worth living unless somebody wants them instead of the reality that life is sacred and every life is sacred because every life comes with the stamp of the image of God upon it. And I am grateful for what’s happening in Kentucky.

That’s where we are and we will continue to speak to these matters with public policy, all under the mission of the church with the focus of the mission of the church to actually win abortion doctors, win women, win men and win the children that are saved with the Gospel of Jesus Christ – that we love life because we have the gift of eternal life and we can tell you about the one who can give you the salvation from your sins and grant you eternal life. And not only forgive us of our sins, but transform our lives by embracing a new life for Christ that honors life.

 

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.

7 hours ago

The surprising link between Alabama seafood, timber and U.S. national security, and how Shelby is leading the way

There are plenty of areas of debate over exactly how and where the U.S. should spend its foreign aid dollars. But for Alabamians in particular — and the entire Gulf Coast region more broadly — the international assistance that flows into cracking down on illegal wildlife trafficking is paying massive dividends, both economically and, perhaps more surprisingly, in terms of national security.

A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates Americans grossly overestimate the amount the federal government spends on foreign aid.  The average answer was foreign aid accounts for a whopping 31 percent of spending. Fifteen percent of respondents actually thought it represented over half of the U.S. budget.

In reality, according to the Congressional Research Service, it accounts for about 1 percent total when military, economic development and humanitarian efforts are combined.  And it is paying massive dividends for Alabama.

Here’s how:

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First, foreign aid dollars fund multi-nation efforts to combat illegal trade in timber and fish. These illicit practices cost U.S. foresters and fishers billions of dollars in lost revenue every single year by flooding the market and driving down prices.

According to the Alabama Department of Commerce, “Alabama has the second largest commercial timberland base in the U.S., with 23 million acres. Forestry is the state’s second largest manufacturing industry, producing an estimated $14.8 billion worth of products in 2013, the latest data available.” Alabama also ranked second in the country in fish production. By cracking down on the black-market trading of timber and fish, our foreign aid dollars are protecting Alabama jobs.

Second, foreign aid that flows into international conservation efforts, which has enjoyed bipartisan support for decades, helps countries manage their natural resources sustainably. This prevents the scarcity of water, food or forests that often contributes to instability and sparks regional conflicts.

Third, cracking down on illegal wildlife trafficking cuts off a major source of income for armed groups and organizations with terrorist ties throughout the world, many of which pose a direct threat to American interests.

A report by the United Nations and Interpol found that the “illegal wildlife trade worth up to $213 billion a year is funding organized crime, including global terror groups and militias.” Additionally, “the annual trade of up to $100 billion in illegal logging is helping line the pockets of mafia, Islamist extremists and rebel movements, including Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked terror group al-Shabaab.”

Fortunately, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), who recently rose to the powerful post of Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, has remained a staunch supporter of ensuring that resources continue to flow into efforts to combat the illegal trade in timber and fish.

“The Committee has worked together to strike the appropriate balance between the competing priorities of law enforcement, national security, scientific advancement, and economic development,” Shelby said after announcing critical funding for Fiscal Year 2018. “Additionally, the measure includes necessary oversight provisions to fight waste, fraud, and abuse. This is a step forward in maintaining critical funding for core programs and addressing the needs of our nation while staying within our spending boundaries.”

The move did not go unnoticed by leaders in the seafood industry, a major source of economic activity in all Gulf States, including Alabama.

“We cannot thank Senator Shelby enough,” said Southern Shrimp Alliance Executive Director John Williams after fiscal year 2018 appropriation. “Their extraordinary efforts ensure the survival of the domestic shrimp fishery in the face of what has been an endless stream of illegal shrimp imports.”

Support for foreign assistance and international conservation is smart domestic policy. It protects our economy and cuts off the flow of cash to criminals and terrorists. Sen. Shelby and the bipartisan coalition of lawmakers from whom he has helped rally support deserve recognition and praise for their leadership.

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

 

 

7 hours ago

What’s wrong with Calhoun County’s economy?

Earlier this week, Zippia, one of the many job search websites out there, released its list of 2018’s 50 worst job markets in America. Only one in Alabama made the list: Anniston-Jacksonville, AL, which came in at number 43.

That’s not bad given what we’re told about Alabama and poverty. But it does raise one question: Why are Anniston and its surrounding areas struggling compared to other similar places in the state?

Although unemployment in Calhoun County is not nearly as high as counties in the Black Belt, compared to other quasi-urban areas of Alabama, Calhoun has the highest unemployment rate, coming in at 5.9 percent according to data posted recently on the Alabama Department of Labor’s website.

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That far exceeds the seasonally adjusted numbers for the state of Alabama, at 4.1 percent, and nationally, at 4 percent.

So, what gives? Why does Calhoun County struggle economically?

“It’s a good question,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) said in response to that in an interview with Yellowhammer News back in April. “I saw those numbers come out for my congressional district and Calhoun County had the highest unemployment rate, still. It is better than it has been, but I don’t know the answer to that question.”

Rogers said part of the answer to that question may be tied to military spending during the Obama administration and its impact on the nearby Anniston Army Depot.

“[T]here was a real downsizing at the Depot,” he added. “They had had a couple more thousand employees than they have now at the height of the war and there had been a downsizing since the drawback from Iraq and Afghanistan. You don’t need to refurbish as much equipment. But now they’re trying to ramp back up as we try to rebuild our military.”

He credited the potential for a turnaround in that trend to President Donald Trump’s commitment to the military.

Beyond that, why isn’t Calhoun County booming? It seems like every other day, Gov. Kay Ivey is announcing a new addition or manufacturing facility in the Huntsville area that includes a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Let’s compare the Anniston-Oxford area to another economic hot spot in Rogers district, the Auburn-Opelika area.  Although Lee County isn’t quite enjoying the successes of Madison and Limestone Counties, it seems to be growing. Its unemployment rate is 4.7 percent – a little higher. But when you look around Auburn and Opelika, there are all kinds of new commercial and residential construction projects.

That doesn’t seem to be a trend in Anniston and Oxford.

Both Lee and Calhoun Counties have some similarities. Having Auburn University in Lee County is a big difference. Besides that, the two approximately the same distance from Atlanta and its international airport. The two are served by the Interstate Highway System – I-20 in Calhoun County and I-85 in Lee County.

If Lee County can make it work, then why not Calhoun County?

Getting to the bottom of determining what is ailing Calhoun County is not an easy chore. Although reading the pages of The Anniston Star is not quite the adventures of “Alice in Wonderland” it was when H. Brandt Ayers was in charge, under Josephine Ayers and Anthony Cook, it still tends to dwell in the politics outside of Calhoun County.

Addressing Calhoun County’s struggles is a politically worthwhile endeavor. While Kay Ivey is patting herself on the back for economic prosperity in north Alabama at plant-opening ceremony number 105, and Walt Maddox is championing his heroics in Tuscaloosa post-2011 tornado devastation, what about Anniston? What about Oxford? What about Jacksonville?

From an outsider’s perspective, there seems to be a presentable case for manufacturing to make Calhoun County a home given its infrastructure and proximities it Atlanta and Birmingham. But first, we need to determine what’s behind its current struggles.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

8 hours ago

Six vote difference: Republicans Todd Rauch and Debbie Wood in tight race for House District 38

Todd Rauch and Debbie Wood are in a tight race to become the Republican nominee for House District 38, where only six votes separate the two candidates. Wood has 2,165 votes to Rauch’s 2,159 votes.

The number is well within Rauch’s reach considering there are still votes to be counted.

A winner won’t be declared until at least next Tuesday, July 24, when provisional ballots are officially counted and even then, it could take longer for Secretary of State John Merrill to certify the results officially declaring a winner.

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“There’s never a winner until everything is certified,” Secretary of State John Merrill told Yellowhammer News.

Even in the case of such a wide margin as Attorney General Steve Marshall has over Troy King – 62 to 38 percent – there is still no official winner because it hasn’t been certified, Merrill said.

Provisional ballots are provided to those whose names do not appear on the voter roles when they show up to vote but who insist they belong, and still want to vote.

In order to have their votes counted, those who participate in the provisional process must prove to the board of registrar’s office that they ought to be on the roles.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

9 hours ago

Alabamians less likely to be understood by ‘Alexa’ and other ‘smart’ tech because of southern accents

The remarkable drawl that embodies Southern culture may be responsible for the frustration many Alabamians feel when trying to get their smart tech to answer a question. The repeated “Sorry, I didn’t get that” can lead people with accents to underutilize voice-activated devices such as Alexa and Google Home that are rapidly growing in popularity.

study conducted by the Washington Post and two research groups revealed people with Southern accents were three percent less likely to get accurate responses from a Google Home device than those with Western accents.  Foreign accents face the largest challenge with 30 percent more inaccuracies.

But, help is on the way.

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According to the study, the artificial intelligence used in programming the technology is taught to comprehend different accents by processing data from a variety of voices.  The more it learns, the more accurate the programming will become.  Even though these tools may be more useful for some people at the moment, Amazon, the maker of the smart home product Alexa, says to keep trying.

“The more we hear voices that follow certain speech patterns or have certain accents, the easier we find it to understand them.  For Alexa, this no different,” Amazon said in a statement.  “As more people speak to Alexa, and with various accents, Alexa’s understanding will improve.”

Over 20 percent of U.S. households with WiFi utilize smart speakers, and the number of users is growing.  Hopefully, for the benefit of Alabamians, that growth will happen in the South.

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

Learning from President Trump: Words matter

“I don’t see any reason why it would be”.

Those words, voiced by President Trump when asked whether he believed it was true that Russia interfered with the 2016 election, set off a media firestorm early this week.

Trump, of course, is used to media criticism, but this time was different. Joining the normal critics were a multitude of Fox News hosts including Neil Cavuto, Bret Baier, Brit Hume, Dana Perino, and even Brian Kilmeade of the oft-lauded by Trump Fox and Friends.

The morning after Trump’s press conference with President Putin, Kilmeade spoke in second person “you” language and pleaded for President Trump to clarify his statement and his belief in our intelligence agencies over Russians who, as Kilmeade said “hate democracy.”

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To his credit, Trump – who had previously agreed that Russian meddling existed – corrected his statement within twenty-four hours.

Regardless of whether his clarification was believable or timely, this episode reminds us that in politics and government – and in everyday life – words matter.

19thcentury German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche recognized the power of words. Nietzsche wrote, “All I need is a sheet of paper, and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down”.

Nietzsche’s statement wasn’t merely hypothetical. His declaration that “God is dead” shattered worldviews across western civilization into pieces that PureFlix (the movie company behind God’s Not Dead and its sequels) is still trying to pick up.

Even so, it seems that many have forgotten the power of words and have embraced the idea that simply being heard, regardless of content, is of utmost importance.

In NBC’s hit show The Office, Michael Scott tells viewers, “Sometimes I’ll start a sentence and I don’t even know where it’s going. I just hope I find it along the way.” I think a lot of us are more like Michael Scott than we’d like to admit.

We might do well to envision more intentional dialogue from ourselves and from our elected officials, especially our state and local representatives.

In an environment where soundbites are everything, Trump’s statements in Helsinki and the backlash that ensued ought to prompt Alabama officials and candidates to rethink any “wing it” sympathies they may have towards public statements, press conferences, or tweets.

This is even more important in the post-primary period of our election cycle.

Now that the nominees are chosen, we must remind each of their responsibility as leaders to use words, strategies, and express differences in a way that is less divisive and more unifying, less bombastic and more genuine. Our officials and candidates should think twice before resorting to name-calling or vilifying their opponents, as doing so endorses that type of behavior and lowers the standard of Alabamians for those who represent them.

We should also expect, now that the in-fighting of our primary process is over, nominees to run thoughtful campaigns where issues, not personalities, are articulately debated.

Candidates and regular Alabamians alike must remember that words yield tremendous power. Therefore, as Roald Dahl, the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, the BFG, and Matilda, suggests, “Don’t gobblefunk around with words”.

Parker Snider is Manager of Policy Relations for the Alabama Policy Institute, an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to strengthening free enterprise, defending limited government, and championing strong families.