GENDER ABSURDITY: A nation, led by pop culture, descends into chaos


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LAW PROPOSED FOR NEW BIRTH CERTIFICATES WITH “X” AS GENDER 

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I want to take you to a couple of news stories, one out of Fox News and the other out of World Magazine. The Fox News story reports that a New York City proposal would allow people born in New York City the option to choose a third gender on their birth certificates. This would allow adults to go back and change their birth certificates from male or female to the new “X” category.

DR. REEDER: New York and California seem to be the arbiters of pop culture movements. Pop culture is the product of the various dynamics of the society, all the way from shows that are produced to the jokes that are funny, to the books that are written and the songs that are sung. Therefore, now we’re going to have a culture in which you can’t just look at people and say, “Well, that’s he or she,” because now we have said that people can self-identify.

Clearly, the confusion and loss of objectivity in this post-modern world and the absence of any categories of any accuracy and common sense based upon truth — not only ethical absolutes, but created absolutes — simply by observation like, “That’s a man,” or “That’s a woman.” “No, I may have the biological apparatus of that, but I’ve decided I am not that. You have to then set aside any common sense in your life and accommodate the chaos that I have selected in my life.”

 WHAT HAPPENS TO THIS TYPE OF CULTURE? IT UNRAVELS

Well, that leads to the unraveling of a culture. Where does that come from? Folks, that comes from just basic reality that we have lost sensibility in the issue of origins. Atheistic, Darwinian evolution has now brought us to the point that there is no creator who has sovereignly made us in His image, male and female; has sovereignly instituted certain dynamics such as the sanctity of work, the sanctity of rest, the sanctity of sexuality within the sanctity of marriage.

All of that is dismissed and now we are right back to two books in the Bible: The Book of Judges and the other is the Book of Ecclesiastes. In the book of Judges, it repeatedly says that, “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes,” and that, of course, leads to a lifestyle that’s affirmed and developed by Solomon in his book of Ecclesiastes. A culture in which everyone does what is right in their own eyes becomes a culture of two things: chaos and vanity and the word “vanity” means emptiness — confusion and emptiness.

PENNSYLVANIA CASE IGNORES STUDENTS’ PLEAS FOR PRIVACY

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, lest anyone think that this is just related to what the latest song is talking about, it’s actually entered into our court system. Two courts, one in Pennsylvania and the other in Virginia, disregarded students’ pleas for privacy in public school locker rooms and restrooms. The judges avoided making any distinctions between the sexes and ruled transgender students should be allowed to use the sex-segregated facilities that affirm their gender identity.

Only four minutes into one of the oral arguments in Pennsylvania, Circuit Judge Theodore McKee stopped plaintiff’s attorney, Randall Winger, and forbade him to use the word “sex” and “opposite sex”. He said, “When you use the word ‘sex,’ you complicate the discussion. It’s not that simple. That’s why I use the term ‘transgender boy or girl’ to try to get around that problem.”

DR. REEDER: And then you’re going to have to come up with more adjectives and more adverbs. “I’m not really a transgender boy; I’m a transgender X.” “Oh, by the way, I’m not really transgender; I’m pangender.” Therefore, the alphabet, LGBTQ+ has now become LGBTQIA+. It continues on ad infinitum, ad absurdum.

POP CULTURE SHOULD NOT MAKE LAWS FOR OUR LAND

Legislative initiatives such as what’s happened in New York both reflect the pop culture and add to the pop culture and then that shows up in judicial rulings that are not based upon constitutional law of a locality or a state or a nation, but they’re based upon pop culture. That judge’s comments, as nonsensical as they are, do make sense if you embrace the cultural anomalies you see today.

We have now a pop culture that says you are not what God made you; you are what you want to consider yourself. “Every man does and is and embraces what is right in his own eyes.” The only thing is, you can’t say that anymore because you can’t use the word “man”. Now you’ve got to use the word “every entity” is what they say they are in their own eyes.

LACK OF PRIVACY, MODESTY AND BOUNDARIES IS MARK OF PAGANISM

In the very court case that you’re talking about, people are trying to get security in privacy and modesty in a public facility. We did a program yesterday on my trip to Israel. One of the things I do is I take people to the ruins of Bashan. Bashan was a Canaanite city that became an Israeli city or a Jewish city when Joshua came into the land, but never fully occupied and, therefore, remained in the hands of the Canaanites, heavily influenced by Egyptian pharaohs who had a control of the trade route and the Romans finally conquered it.

I take people right beside the theater to the public facilities and then I made the comment, “One of the marks of civilization is a public facility but you will notice there is no male or female in this public facility.” Now, on the one hand, there was a public facility — that’s the mark of a civilization is that the government, for general welfare, will make a public facility, ingenious public facilities, by the way, with even running water and how it was put together — but there was no privacy. Why? A pagan world and life view.

Then, when Christianity comes, you not only have the matter of a public facility that makes available things to people in the necessities of life, but now privacy and modesty is given. Now we have, in our descent into a pagan world and life view, you’ve got rulings from these very courts where students have come and said, “I want to go to a locker room and a bathroom where I don’t have to share it with someone of the ‘opposite sex,’” and, in the presentation, they’re told you can’t even use the language “opposite sex”.

CONFUSION LEADS TO DICTATORSHIP

What’s at loss? Privacy, modesty. What will happen from that? Chaos, confusion, molestations and all other things — the door’s wide open for voyeurism and everything else that, used to, we did not have in the sensibilities of a culture and the sanctities of that culture, including the sanctity of true privacy. Isn’t it interesting that we claim privacy to advance the right of the killing of an unborn child, but we will not affirm privacy for someone to be able to have modesty and security in a public facility?

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, as we continue to go down this road, what’s the ultimate outcome?

DR. REEDER: Everything’s going to become meaningless. Without objectivity, you can’t have liberty. You’ve got to have something that is objectively true in order to have true liberty. Liberty without objective truth is nothing more than anarchy and every man does what’s right in his own eyes. Court systems scramble to affirm what every man does what’s right in his own eyes and people cannot live with confusion, emptiness and chaos. That leads to dictatorships and that leads to somebody rising up and saying, “Hey, I can bring order to this confusion.”

Whenever you lose the absolutes, then you lose true liberty. We have a home and we have about 20 yards in our backyard, and then there’s a cliff on the other side of that. Well, when my grandchildren come over, they come and play in the backyard and Cindy gives them about 5 yards and that’s about it, because she doesn’t want them to go off the edge of the cliff. However, if I put a fence up, now they get the full 20 yards.

That’s what objective true law does — it’s built on ethical, true absolutes and it puts the fences up and that’s what gives full and true liberty, liberty that’s within the boundaries of what is true and what is absolute and what is law.

When you have an atheistic world and life view, then there are no realities and there is only what exists by virtue of chance and mutation. Therefore, humanity says, “We’ll make it what we want to be instead of we will conform to what God has revealed that it is,” and that leads to emptiness and that leads to a way of life that no one can accept, which means it creates a culture in which dictators become welcome and flourish.

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.

50 mins ago

Watch: Bicentennial video tells the stories of Alabama’s great people

The finale of the ALABAMA 200 bicentennial celebration is on Saturday, with the public celebrating with elected officials, celebrities and dignitaries in the state’s capital.

However, even if you cannot make the festivities in person, you can still take time remotely to honor Alabama becoming a state 200 years ago to the day.

A video put together by WBRC and posted by Governor Kay Ivey is a great way to relive the state’s vibrant history.

Entitled, “Alabama Bicentennial: The Stories of Our People,” the approximately 50-minute special looks back on the state’s past 200 years, hearing from some of its most memorable voices in the process.

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In an introduction to that video, Ivey says, “As we celebrate our state’s bicentennial, I want to recognize my fellow Alabamians. As governor, I’m proud to be from a state that has remained steadfast through good times and bad.”

“Our resiliency and southern spirit have allowed us to grow and become the great state we are today,” she continues. “To put it simply, Alabama is defined by its people, and we have some of the best. I look forward to the future generations of Alabamians who will help take us to even greater heights. Happy birthday, Alabama!”

Watch:

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

Alabama’s ‘white gold’ draws worldwide interest

Ruth Beaumont Cook’s latest book started 10 years ago as a brochure request from Sylacauga‘s B.B. Comer Memorial Library in advance of the city’s first marble festival.

“They asked me to put together a brochure about the history of the marble,” Cook said. “It was overwhelmingly successful, so the next year they asked to me write a book.”

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New book celebrates Sylacauga’s marble legacy from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Nearly nine years and dozens of interviews later, Cook celebrates the natural resource that nurtures both the economy and the cultural heritage of Alabama’s “Marble City” in her new book, “Magic in Stone: The Sylacauga Marble Story.”

“Whenever you start working on a book, you have all of this information but you look for a story thread through it,” Cook said. “I had no clue when I started what that was going to be.”

Cook said the clues starting coming together as she started talking to people who grew up mining marble.

“There are so many people who grew up in Gantts Quarry,” Cook said. “Most people have good memories of growing up there and work they are proud of. Telling those stories was the most interesting part of it.”

Commercial marble quarries began in Sylacauga in the late 1800s. Cook said the marble was initially used by sculptors such as Giuseppe Moretti, the Italian who created the Vulcan statue on Red Mountain in Birmingham.

“His Vulcan won gold prize at the 1904 World’s Fair, but what most people don’t know is he also took another piece with him, ‘The Head of Christ,’ which he had carved from Sylacauga marble,” Cook said. “It won a silver medal.”

The notoriety caught the attention of construction managers around the world who were seeking dimension marble for their projects. By the 1930s, Sylacauga’s creamy white marble had been used in hundreds of buildings, including the U.S. Supreme Court building and the ceiling of the Lincoln Memorial.

“It was chosen for the Lincoln Memorial because it can be cut very thin and still be strong,” Cook said. “They cut it thin enough to be translucent and then rubbed it with beeswax and put it in the ceiling.”

Despite the marble’s beauty and strength, Cook said the demand for dimension marble in construction dropped dramatically by the 1950s.

“It became obvious that granite was much easier to withstand pollution than marble,” Cook said. “Marble is still great if it’s thick enough, but if you make a facade of it on a building, it’s probably not going to last because it deteriorates from the pollution.”

Instead of closing the mines and laying off employees, Cook said the Sylacauga marble companies survived and thrived thanks to a growing need for calcium extracted from marble deposits and used in hundreds of products, such as cosmetics, paints and glue.

“They turned to industry and began to grind up the marble into fine powder – called GCC, ground calcium carbonate – which industry had a strong demand for,” Cook said.

Cook said Sylacauga continues to be a rich marble resource more than 70 years later.

“I’ve been told there’s enough marble there for sculpture and industry for at least another 200 years,” Cook said. “The vein of marble is 35 miles long, a mile and a half wide and goes down quite a ways — 300 or 400 feet I believe. It’s a very valuable resource.”

Sylacauga Marble Festival

Since 2009, the city has celebrated its heritage through the Sylacauga Marble Festival, a 10-day event drawing sculptors from around the world to work alongside an Italian master sculptor. Visitors can watch, tour local quarries and purchase sculptures. Cook said the festival brings Sylacauga’s rich heritage full circle.

“It came from art, up through all of these others, and now you have this wonderful balance,” Cook said. “You still have major industry but you also have major art appreciation. It’s a great story.”

The 12th annual Marble Festival will be March 31 to April 11, 2020.

The 2019 Marble Festival, which was one of several events highlighted by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission as part of the state’s 200th birthday celebration, was sponsored by the Alabama Power FoundationAlabama State Council on the ArtsAlabama Tourism DepartmentAmerican Legion Post 45 SylacaugaArchitectural Stone ImportsB.B. Comer Memorial LibraryBlue Bell CreameriesBlue Horizon TravelCity of Sylacauga, Conn Equipment, Coosa Valley Medical CenterCurtis and Son Funeral HomeImerysIsabel Anderson Comer Museum and Arts CenterJ. Craig Smith Community CenterMiller Lumber CompanyMorris Custom Marble & GraniteNemakOmya, Inc.Pizza & Pint, Representative Ron Johnson, SouthFirst BankSylacauga Arts CouncilSylacauga Chamber of CommerceSylacauga Housing Authority, Sylacauga Marble Quarry, Towne Inn, 21st Century Signs and Utilities Board of Sylacauga.

To learn more about “Magic in Stone: The Sylacauga Marble Story,” visit newsouthbooks.com/magicinstone.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

5 hours ago

Birmingham Business Alliance reveals new mission, economic development approach

The Birmingham Business Alliance revealed a new mission and a new approach to economic development as it heads into 2020.

The BBA’s 2019 Chairwoman’s Annual Meeting was at the Lyric Theatre in Birmingham Dec. 11. Chairwoman Nancy Goedecke passed the gavel to Jim Gorrie, president and CEO of Brasfield & Gorrie.

Gone is Blueprint Birmingham, which guided the BBA through its first 10 years. In its place is a strategy that keys in life sciences, advanced manufacturing and technology. Those are some of the main industries the Alabama Department of Commerce is expected to emphasize in its revision of Accelerate Alabama, the state’s economic development plan.

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“Those are the three areas that we’re going to focus on,” said Fred McCallum, interim CEO of the BBA. “I will tell you that when you look at our state plan, there are a lot of similarities.”

Birmingham Business Alliance announces new direction from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

A main component to Blueprint Birmingham was a set of metrics that measured Birmingham’s success against a cluster of peer cities. Doing so often looked too broadly, McCallum said.

“Blueprint was a good plan at the time,” he said. “It was very wide and in some ways it was successful and in other ways it wasn’t so successful. I think what we’ve come to now is a point in time where we’ve got to focus in on jobs and economic growth.”

There will be a new set of metrics created and benchmarked in a new BBA strategic plan, McCallum said.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin did highlight one comparison between Birmingham and other cities.

“Since the great recession around 2008, 60% of all jobs have only gone to 25 cities in America,” Woodfin said. “You need to know that Birmingham is not on that list.”

Woodfin feels Birmingham should measure itself against its own potential instead of comparing itself to others.

“We don’t have to be like Nashville or Chattanooga or Atlanta or Austin,” he said. “We need to be the best version of ourselves. But that is going to require us to shake off the way we’ve always done things.”

Woodfin said the companies and organizations that make up the BBA should be prepared to take greater risks and push boundaries.

“Being risk-averse at this time as we move into 2020 … will not work for us – as an organization or for our city,” he said. “So the question becomes when you walk out of this room, are we prepared to invest in our competitiveness? Do we want to compete? Do we want to set ourselves apart, not be like any other city in America?”

A primary goal for the BBA is to find a new CEO. McCallum has led the organization on an interim basis after former CEO Brian Hilson stepped down at the end of March. Hilson now works on rural economic development initiatives in the state.

Other changes will include aligning the BBA’s internal strategy to execute the new strategic plan, updating its governance structure to be more effective and efficient and aligning the funding model to support the BBA’s new strategic plan.

“I think the organization will be more focused on specific strategies and focused on doing what we do well,” McCallum said.

McCallum believes Birmingham leaders and economic developers can tell the region’s story more forcefully and proactively.

“We’re on a good trajectory. I feel good about where we are as a community,” McCallum said. “Our leadership is strong. Our public leadership is strong. Our private leadership is strong. I feel good about where the BBA is focused.”

This year’s annual meeting was more a call to action than the rah-rah sessions of the past.

“Usually I would get up here and give you all some stats about what we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished,” Woodfin said. “I think it is fair to say that 2019 has been a good year for many of your organizations individually and collectively for our Birmingham Business Alliance.”

It was a good 2019 in the Birmingham metro area. Halfway through the year, the region reached and surpassed its pre-recession height of employment. There were 32 projects with 1,180 jobs and $492.2 million in capital investment announced in the region in 2019.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

The biggest birthday party in Alabama history is TODAY!

The biggest birthday party in Alabama’s history is taking place today, December 14, and you are invited! Join us in Montgomery for the grand finale celebration of our state’s 200th birthday.

Watch the parade, listen to concerts and performances, visit open houses and much more.

This is sure to be a day you don’t want to miss. The event is free to the public and lasts all day starting with an elaborate parade at 10:00 a.m. The parade will travel from Court Square Fountain in downtown Montgomery up Dexter Avenue to the State Capitol. There will be marching bands, city floats and unique displays of Alabama history on wheels, such as the USS Alabama and U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

The parade is a great opportunity for families to enjoy the celebration together – and it’s only the beginning of a packed day. Following the parade, Governor Kay Ivey will dedicate Bicentennial Park. The afternoon will offer performances, exhibitions and open houses throughout downtown Montgomery. The day will conclude with a concert featuring popular musicians from Alabama and the history of Alabama presented in a never-before-seen way.

Visit Alabama 200 Finale for a complete rundown of the day’s events.

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7 hours ago

ADCNR officers help spread Christmas cheer at Academy Sports

Imagine elves filling baskets with goodies to load on Santa’s sleigh and you get a snapshot of what it looked like last week when Academy Sports + Outdoors provided Christmas cheer for numerous youngsters who needed that encouragement the most.

At Academy stores across Alabama, youngsters were chosen to go on shopping sprees with a budget of $150 each, assisted by first responders from the local area. In two locations, Huntsville and Foley, Alabama Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) enforcement officers assisted the kids in choosing the items that were loaded into the shopping carts.

Into the baskets went bows and arrows, footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, clothing, athletic shoes, candy canes and more. The youngsters proved more than adept at keeping track of just how far that gift card would go, counting down until the funding was exhausted.

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“Academy Sports + Outdoors is excited to partner with first responders across the state of Alabama to help 150 children enjoy more sports and outdoor fun this holiday season,” said Rick Burleson, Academy’s Regional Marketing Specialist. “As the shopping destination with the most fun gifts and gear, we look forward to making the holidays merry for our local communities across Alabama.”

Chris Blankenship, ADCNR’s Commissioner, said the shopping events presented a special opportunity for outreach to the younger generation.

“I appreciate Academy Sports + Outdoors for sponsoring this program,” Commissioner Blankenship said. “Opportunities like this where enforcement officers can interact positively with citizens, especially youth, are so valuable for building trust on both sides. Our Conservation Enforcement Officers participate in many programs to promote hunting and fishing for youth. This is just another example of the good people we have in the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

“In the photos, you can really see the joy in the faces of the kids, the officers and the employees of Academy Sports + Outdoors. The giving spirit of Academy, our officers and the community is evident in the outpouring of support for this program. With this scene replicated at hundreds of Academy stores all over the country, good relations with law enforcement are being built nationwide and will pay dividends for many years to come. My desire to work in conservation came from encounters such as this with Marine Resources conservation officers when I was a kid. You cannot underestimate what effects the little things like this will have on a person and a community.”

At the Foley event, Conservation Enforcement Officers from the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division and the Marine Resources Division aided 10 youngsters from the afterschool program at the John McClure Snook Family YMCA in Foley.

Melissa McGhee, associate branch director of the Foley YMCA, said the youngsters ranged in age from 5 to 13.

“All the kids we chose are highly scholarshipped kids,” McGhee said. “They just don’t have a lot. For three of them, this is their Christmas. This was such an honor to be picked for this. When I talked to some of the parents, they just started crying because this is what their kids are doing for Christmas.”

Jason Ford, Academy Store Director in Foley, said providing a venue for officers and youngsters to interact in a positive way during the holiday season was well worth the effort from Academy and the associates who also assisted during the shopping sprees.

“We love that we can reach out to people in our community who are less fortunate,” Ford said. “But it also strengthens the bonds between our first responders and our community. Right now, we can use that unity more than ever. To be able to impact the community in such a positive way really goes a long way in warming my heart, and hopefully seeing the kids gets some good Christmas presents and develop some goodwill with our law enforcement.”

WFF Conservation Officer Steve Schrader wore a perpetual smile while he helped a young lady fill her basket with gifts from shoes to candy cane-shaped containers filled with M&Ms.

“This has been great,” Schrader said. “My shopper has been very generous and has bought more for her family than herself. I hope she now sees us (enforcement officers) more friendly than the other side of the fence. They can see us as real people, too. I think it went really well.”

At the event in Huntsville, Beth Morring with the Boys and Girls Clubs of North Alabama echoed the need for the sponsored kids to find out more about the ADCNR enforcement officers and what those officers actually do.

“Before they started shopping, we asked the Conservation guys to explain what they do every day,” Morring said. “The officers told them how they protected the wildlife and help those who fish and hunt and enjoy the outdoors. It was neat because our kids probably never knew these men and women existed. It was a learning experience just to meet these officers, which was great.”

Morring said 10 kids from the Seminole Boys and Girls Clubs in Huntsville were chosen for the event.

“These were the kids who needed it the most,” she said. “With $150 to shop, we did kind of steer them during their shopping, as did the officers. We started with shoes first and then went to get some essential clothing. They were able to get a goodie or two as well. It was a great time, and everybody wanted new shoes. These kids were predominantly from the public housing area where the club is located, and they were thrilled to get some new, shiny tennis shoes. In fact, some of them wore them out of the store that day, which was fabulous.”

Morring said the event was much more than just a shopping spree for the kids.

“To watch them interact with the officers and for our children to see men and women who serve and protect us, that they are good people,” she said. “Many of our children don’t have as positive an exposure with first responders sometimes. For them to be able to meet these first responders who can talk to them and realize these are dads and moms and husbands and wives – just regular people even though they might be in a uniform. So that positive interaction was so important. That was really impactful for our children.”

Morring said it was great to see the officers meet the kids on the same level.

“I loved watching these big grown-ups with these little children and them kneeling down on the floor to help them try on shoes,” she said. “Not to mention for our children, it was the first time they were able to walk into a store and have a budget for gifts where they got to make the decisions and choices. To watch these kids whose families struggle financially, for them to have $150 and then think about family members before themselves is admirable and amazing in light of their circumstances.”

David Rainer is an award-winning writer who has covered Alabama’s great outdoors for 25 years. The former outdoors editor at the Mobile Press-Register, he writes for Outdoor Alabama, the website of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.