Pastor Harry Reeder: Our military is weakening and here’s why we need it strong


 

 

 

 

 

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Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, I’d like to cover two stories with you today. The first, out of World Magazine, “Navy Calls Off Search for Missing Sailors.” “The U.S. Navy, last Friday, ended the search for three sailors missing since that Wednesday when a transport plane crashed in the Philippine Sea.”

Harry, this is the third fatal accident for the U.S. Navy’s 7th Fleet in 2017.

DR. REEDER: Right. There have actually been a number of non-combat deaths, in general, in our military and also a number of non-combat deaths, in particular, as to the 7th Fleet, which has had numerous issues from collisions to the inability to respond to particular situations.

Tom, I think what is pretty evident here is, for the last ten years, we have attempted to fight a two-front war in the Middle East, we have attempted to respond to the growing tensions in the Pacific, we have attempted to respond to a number of other situations with a volunteer Army and Navy and Marine Corps – a volunteer military service – and we have attempted to do it without proper funding.

Now, many people can remember the sequestration debates in which mandatory cuts were going to take place across the board in the budget and that would apply to the military and I think we’ve now got the consequences of it.

Our technology is starting to lag behind. We’ve all read the stories of how they’re having to, basically, scavenge certain planes in order to keep other planes in the air and we have a shortage of fighter jets, transport planes, etc.

And then there is just a lack of dependability in terms of the mechanical abilities of our ships, our planes, our tanks, everything and the result has been the loss of life.

This last year, the number of non-combat deaths in the 7th Fleet has more than doubled. It is an astounding number that’s absolutely unnecessary.

In a Christian world and life view, you are ready to deal with the issues of the sovereignty of God – the Lord gives life and the Lord takes away life – but you also have the responsibility of man and that is to not unnecessarily expose our military personnel.

We have these fine young men and women who volunteered to serve our country and, well, we have a responsibility, Congress, in particular, has a responsibility, and the president, as commander-in-chief, has a responsibility to properly fund their equipment and their training.

Some of this is traced back to lower standards of training – they don’t have the equipment for the training – and there has been the lowering of standards of training because of social experimentation that’s taking place in the military.

All these things are now distilling into, first, the unnecessary loss of life due to maintenance issues, due to training issues, due to the decision to not properly fund our military. And then, secondly, that affects our readiness.

With the increasing threats of China and its significant buildup of its navy, with what is happening in Asia with North Korea and China, as well as the issues that continue to face us in the Middle East, and the fact that we have a volunteer army demands that we give proper training and proper maintenance.

One final thought on this is you have to realize we’re in a fallen world. A Christian world and life view affirms the role of government to protect its citizens. The best way to protect its citizens is to make peace whenever possible.

And I know people do not believe this because it seems to be counterintuitive, but a nation’s commitment to have a clearly superior military force available that is properly trained and properly armed, that becomes the greatest deterrent to other people bringing war against you.

Now, as the Book of Proverbs says, “The mighty have to have a restrained spirit.”

We’re not having a strong military to be imperialistic, but we’re having a strong military so that others would not provoke or do anything that would cause us to have to respond militarily because of the overwhelming force.

Then, we need character-based leadership that always uses the military appropriately and not indiscriminately and not imperialistically.

Tom Lamprecht: Harry, let me take you to Story No. 2, a federal judge, last week, blocked a Texas law protecting unborn babies from dismemberment abortions. U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel placed a permanent injunction on Senate Bill 8, calling the legislation “unconstitutional.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton vowed to appeal Yeakel’s decision. “We will defend Senate Bill all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary,” he said. Before the ruling, Texas was the eighth state to block the procedure.

DR. REEDER: Yes, our own state of Alabama has such a law and, as was mentioned, eight other states have that law. And I have tried to understand the judge’s reasoning. He basically says it’s unconstitutional in that it imposes limits that should not be imposed upon abortion.

The whole ludicrous thing is that abortion ought to be illegal but, instead, it has been legalized in our society and its legalization is responsible for 60 million deaths of unborn infants on the altar of inconvenience and in service to the sexual revolution of trying to get rid of what sexual promiscuity produces, and that is the consequences of, “unwanted pregnancies.”

Tom Lamprecht: Harry, this is not just about abortion, but it is dealing with how the abortion takes place in a most cruel and unusual way. We have legislation that says certain execution forms are cruel and unusual punishment, but yet look what we’re applying here.

DR. REEDER: Exactly, Tom, and that brings us to the second element of it: In trying to understand this ruling, the question becomes, “Why would you make this ruling because the law has protected what needs to be done in the context of abortion in terms of the saving of the mother’s life?”

However, the other aspect of this, Tom, is we already have a law declaring that you cannot sell body parts, so other than the protected practice of dismemberment for the purpose of saving the mother’s life, why would you declare unconstitutional a law that affirms a present law which is abortion cannot be done to sell body parts and, therefore, dismemberment should not be a part of the process unless it is a strictly medical necessity in the midst of the abortion to protect the life of the mother?

There is no sense in what he has done other than a backdoor protection of Planned Parenthood that has, as it has been revealed, an internal industry going on of doing certain abortions in a certain manner to deliver the body of the child to be able to sell the body parts, themselves, at a later date.

I’m glad to see that the State of Texas is going to appeal it and, hopefully, the Court of Appeals will remove this irrational ruling by this judge, as well as affirm what now stands in place for eight other states.

Tom, the thing that ultimately strikes us in this is the utter confusion and chaos that comes when you abandon a basic principle of a Christian world and life view, which is the sanctity of life.

Why are we even having this conversation except that we have descended into a culture of death and the most fundamental right of the religion of the sexual revolution and secular progressivism is to protect abortion as the instrument to erase unwanted consequences to the sexual revolution that’s taking place?

And the callousness that we now express concerning life – first, the life of the unborn, then the life of the born that are unwanted that continue to be unwanted, and then those at the end of life who also have become inconvenient – anyone that becomes inconvenient, no longer is there the call to uphold the sanctity of life.

Instead, there is the increasing movement in the culture to develop the progressive world and life view in which any life is expendable, ultimately, if it gets in the way of the sovereign self and my own gratification and convenience in life.

But, praise the Lord, Tom, we’re moving into a season in which One came to give His life so that we could have life – not only a physical life, but life eternal. We’ll talk about that tomorrow.

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.

9 mins ago

Census Day 2020: Alabamians urged to get counted

April 1 is officially Census Day across the United States of America, and leaders of every type are urging citizens to take the 10 minutes necessary to fill out their census documents.

April 1 is designated as Census Day because when an individual fills out their census form, they are supposed to list where they were living on April 1.

The United States Census is an official count of every person living in the country. It is required by the Constitution to be conducted every 10 years.

The results decide how many representatives in Congress, tax dollars and Electoral College votes each state gets.

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Because the estimated growth of Alabama’s population has lagged behind several other states for the last 10 years, many observers believe the Yellowhammer State is one of the most at risk of losing a seat in Congress and billions of federal funding along with it.

“The COVID-19 pandemic shows the importance of state representation on a national level. If we lose a representative due to a low Census count, that would mean one less voice advocating for Alabama’s needs during critical times in the future,” Alabama Governor Kay Ivey commented in a statement on Wednesday.

U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) tweeted Wednesday, “I know we’re all stuck at home so I encourage you to fill out the 2020 Census — it only takes a few minutes.”

 

(Census Bureau/Screenshot)

So far, Shelby County has the highest response rate with 47.7% of residents responding. Madison County is close behind in second place with 47.2% responding. North Alabama as a region has been better about filling out their census forms.

All people living in the United States are required to be counted by the census, so efforts are being made to contact people who immigrated to the country illegally in addition to recognized American citizens.

Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon has previously indicated the State is taking special measures to count the undocumented population within its borders.

Though the Census Bureau has been forced to temporarily suspend their in-person response organization, the employees will begin conducting the surveys with households that have not responded later this year.

According to the Associated Press, the final counts are due to be reported to the federal government by December 31.

Alabamians can fill out their census forms here.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.

33 mins ago

Preventing death by allowing ‘essential’ murder

We live in wild times.

I’ve watched people all across the political spectrum in recent days deliver impassioned speeches about the need to take extraordinary measures to preserve human life. They say they believe the elderly and vulnerable are just as deserving of a chance to live as any other.

They are right.

Human life is sacred and should be treated as such from the womb to the tomb.

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But since we live in an age of cognitive dissonance and crumbling reason, the same people who will gladly burn the economy to the ground to save grandpa will sue you for the right to keep killing unborn children, even amid this crisis.

In Alabama, it looks like this: on March 27, Governor Kay Ivey issued an order suspending nonessential medical and dental care as part of a comprehensive effort to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state. Temporarily eliminating procedures that are not medically necessary reserves scarce PPEs for use where critically needed and reduces the number of people gathering in clinics and potentially spreading the virus.

State Health Officer Scott Harris stipulated that abortion clinics were providing an essential service and could continue to operate.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said that he believed that the original order applied to all elective medical and dental procedures. And as elective abortion is not emergency care and treats no disease process, they should not be exempt from the order.

Enter the ACLU, which filed a petition on behalf of abortion providers with the federal courts, asking for an emergency order to prevent state authorities from closing them down; they want abortion classified as an “essential” service.

They don’t believe that abortion clinics should have to live up to the same deal that thousands of other medical providers and citizens are currently living up to, for the greater good. United States District Judge Myron Thompson issued just such an injunction late on March 30, keeping abortion clinics open and temporarily exempting them from the standards of the governors’ mandate. The court will hear arguments on the matter in full on April 13.

Where do I even begin?

Under the law, women currently have a right to abortion services. Likewise, I have the right to seek all manner of medical and dental procedures, many of which are essential preventative care: pap smears, mammograms, dermatological cancer screenings, x-rays, etc. Under normal circumstances, I even have the right to seek all sorts of nonessential medical procedures that improve the quality of my life: therapies or cosmetic procedures for a variety of conditions and complaints.

But these are not normal times, and pregnancy is not an illness.

And our government – for better or for worse – has the power to temporarily restrain ordinary civil liberties to respond to a crisis, as the Governor has in this case.

Pregnancy may be unplanned or undesired. But it is not a disease.

The vast majority of Americans understand that our resources must, for the near future, be prioritized for the treatment of actual disease processes and emergency healthcare that won’t wait.

But if you say something – no matter how divorced from facts – enough times, you start to believe it. And in this case, the abortion industry mantra that “abortion is healthcare” has been repeated so often that a significant number of activists and their acolytes believe it.

Those of us who think that children in utero are just as sacred as the elderly and the frail would point out that abortion is a kind of “healthcare” that always leaves one of its two patients dead.

The feminist in me is sickened of the degrading presumption that lives inside of the abortion-as-healthcare mentality: that women lack the agency and the intelligence to prevent pregnancy in the first place. That pregnancy is something that just spontaneously happens to us without our consent or participation because the basics of biology are just too hard for little ole us.

Victims of rape or abuse are obvious exceptions to this rule, and only a tiny percentage of elective abortions, so save yourself the pithy email.

It’s a pitifully low view of women. It’s a tragically low view of life.

And now, the abortion industry wants to be held out as exceptional and granted exclusive rights. They want their elective procedure deemed more important than all the other elective procedures and more important than the fight to save their neighbors’ lives.

It is not.

Because of this pandemic, there are people from all walks of life on hold for medical care that is far more consequential to their ongoing physical health than the potential abortion of a healthy pregnancy.

Why must heart patients, diabetics, and cancer patients put skin in the game of achieving our collective good while abortion seekers break the social contract and go right on with their desires?

Whether you think abortion should generally be legal or not, it’s certainly no more essential than a million other types of medical care that Alabamians are doing without in this moment of crisis.
Providers of elective abortion are not deserving of special consideration.

No one can honestly argue we are protecting at-risk people from death by allowing the murder of babies as an “essential” service.

Dana Hall McCain, a widely published writer on faith, culture, and politics, is Resident Fellow of the Alabama Policy Institute; reach her on Twitter at @dhmccain.

API is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organization dedicated to free markets, limited government, and strong families, learn more at alabamapolicy.org.

1 hour ago

Merrill: Alabama’s ‘greatest champion and favorite son’ Richard Shelby delivers once again

Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill on Wednesday released a statement praising U.S. Senator Richard C. Shelby’s role (R-AL) in the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) stimulus package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald J. Trump.

Merrill also touted the overall leadership being provided to the nation by Trump, as well as the work Governor Kay Ivey is doing for the Yellowhammer State.

Shelby is Alabama’s longest serving senator, and his accomplishments for his home state are well recognized by political observers. Merrill outlined that the COVID-19 stimulus package is merely the latest example of Shelby delivering for his fellow Alabamians.

“Our state is incredibly lucky to have leaders who are willing to step up to the plate and go to bat for Alabama, which is precisely what Senator Shelby has done,” Merrill stated.

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“The historic coronavirus relief package recently appropriated to the states would not have been possible without the leadership and guidance of Senator Shelby,” he continued. “How do I know this? I know this to be true because those words came straight from Senator Mitch McConnell and his team. When liberal extremists pushed their agenda, Senator Shelby drew a line in the sand and said, ‘no farther!’”

There were reports that Democrats were trying to insert provisions related to the Green New Deal into the package, as well as voting measures championed by the left that Merrill and others believed could have jeopardized election security and increased voter fraud.

“I am most grateful for the $400 million provided by Congress to protect the 2020 elections. I am also thankful for the provisions that allow each state to do what is best for that state,” Merrill commented.

He said, “Senator Shelby and his team have been receptive and engaged in finding proactive solutions to ensure the safety and security of our elections are not compromised.”

“After countless calls from me and other election officials from across the country, Senator Shelby made it a priority to see that states were granted the flexibility to best accommodate their respective communities under the bill’s stipulations,” the secretary of state added. “Unlike others who have attempted to implement nationwide election changes – many that would increase the likelihood for voter fraud and voter intimidation to be committed – Senator Shelby has proven yet again that federal interference into the elections process in unwarranted and unnecessary.”

Merrill concluded by lauding the stalwart service of Shelby, as well as casting an optimistic and unifying message as the nation continues to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“While we work to get through these trying times, we must remember there is much to be grateful for, such as the collaboration of federal, state and local officials across the country who are working together to provide assistance to those who are most in need,” he advised.

“At the forefront of this fight, finding a solution to the problems we face is Alabama’s Senior Senator, our greatest champion and favorite son, United States Senator Richard C. Shelby!” Merrill concluded.

RELATED: ‘From Alabama to the Moon’ — Richard Shelby is the driving force making America’s space dreams a reality

Merrill’s full statement as follows:

As we navigate these unchartered waters, we must remember that Alabama has a lot to be grateful for.

The leadership exemplified by state and national leaders like President Donald J. Trump, United States Senator Richard Shelby and Governor Kay Ivey should not go unnoticed.

Our state is incredibly lucky to have leaders who are willing to step up to the plate and go to bat for Alabama, which is precisely what Senator Shelby has done.

The historic coronavirus relief package recently appropriated to the states would not have been possible without the leadership and guidance of Senator Shelby.

How do I know this? I know this to be true because those words came straight from Senator Mitch McConnell and his team. When liberal extremists pushed their agenda, Senator Shelby drew a line in the sand and said, ‘no farther!’

I am most grateful for the $400 million provided by Congress to protect the 2020 elections. I am also thankful for the provisions that allow each state to do what is best for that state.

Senator Shelby and his team have been receptive and engaged in finding proactive solutions to ensure the safety and security of our elections are not compromised.

After countless calls from me and other election officials from across the country, Senator Shelby made it a priority to see that states were granted the flexibility to best accommodate their respective communities under the bill’s stipulations.

Unlike others who have attempted to implement nationwide election changes – many that would increase the likelihood for voter fraud and voter intimidation to be committed – Senator Shelby has proven yet again that federal interference into the elections process in unwarranted and unnecessary.

While we work to get through these trying times, we must remember there is much to be grateful for, such as the collaboration of federal, state and local officials across the country who are working together to provide assistance to those who are most in need.

At the forefront of this fight, finding a solution to the problems we face is Alabama’s Senior Senator, our greatest champion and favorite son, United States Senator Richard C. Shelby!

RELATED: Keep up with Alabama’s confirmed coronavirus cases, locations here

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

2 hours ago

6 suggestions to protect yourself from stimulus check scams

Congress moved quickly to help the American public with a $2 trillion stimulus bill.

Unfortunately, fraud experts believe scammers will move just as quickly to try to take your share away. The key is to arm yourself with information.

“No doubt, there will be fake messages that will make countless claims,” said Don White, head of Corporate Security at Regions Bank. “Scammers may text, email or call you, asking for your banking information or claiming they can process your stimulus payment for you. Don’t take the bait. Do not, under any circumstance, give away your personal information via text, email or phone to someone you do not know who is soliciting you.”

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The bipartisan legislation to boost the economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic includes economic relief for American taxpayers in the form of stimulus checks. Each eligible adult will receive up to $1,200, based on gross income.

According to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, the checks could go out in the next two weeks, although there are still questions as to how the money will be distributed. For example, someone who received a refund on 2019 taxes via the Automated Clearing House (ACH) could receive a direct deposit.

Meanwhile, scammers are ready to take advantage by reaching out and saying your account information is needed, or that you can have their relief check for a small fee.

To avoid fraud, consider these suggestions:

1. Hang up. Don’t reply. The IRS, Treasury Department or other government agencies will not call, email or text message people to collect account information, Social Security numbers or credit card information. Anyone who does is likely a scammer, White said.

2. Do not pay anyone offering to get your stimulus funds early or sell you additional stimulus checks. This is a promise that they will not be able to fulfill.

3. Enroll in your bank’s or credit card company’s online and mobile applications to monitor your account activity frequently, looking for suspicious activity.

4. Avoid clicking on unknown links, which may expose you to viruses or malware.

5. While online, verify the legitimacy of websites you visit.

– Turn on browser tools, which can help identify fraudulent websites.

– Ensure the websites are secure and encrypted with HTTPS.

– Look for links that are broken or take you away from the original website.

– Shop through websites you know and trust.

6. As always, slow down, verify, and verify again the legitimacy of financial transactions before approving. Look for changes to account numbers, phone numbers, email addresses or other identifying information.

“We are seeing a spike in fraud activity during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Jon Kucharski, Fraud Strategy Manager at Regions. “No matter what this payment winds up being, only scammers will ask you to pay to get it. Just keep in mind, these unusual times require patience and a little extra vigilance to keep your finances safe.”

(Courtesy of Regions)

3 hours ago

‘Don’t let the corona get on ya!’ — Alabama retirees sing during COVID-19 crisis

An Alabama retirement community shared a helpful message on social media this week amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

In a video posted on Facebook, residents of Wesley Gardens Retirement Community in Montgomery joined with facility driver Lee McBryde (while practicing social distancing by staying six steps away) to dance and sing some important lyrics during the COVID-19 crisis such as properly washing hands and covering up when coughing and sneezing to help prevent the spread.

“Don’t let the corona get on ya!” McBryde sang as residents danced around him while holding containers of disinfectant wipes.

Watch:

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