Reeder: Here’s what Christians should say when traditional marriage views are labeled ‘bigotry’


 

 

 

 

 

Read the transcript:

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, on this Wednesday, I’d like to do a lightning round with you.

First story up, Kentucky governor calls for any elected official who has settled a sexual harassment claim to resign. Kentucky governor, Matt Bevin, called for elected officials and state employees who have settled sexual harassment claims to resign, saying, “Such behavior falls below the moral standard expected of them.”

DR. REEDER: When I heard that, I was just so overwhelmed with the moral clarity that this governor has brought. He could have as easily just dodged this and said, “Well, we don’t know why they settled this and why they settled that. Maybe it was expedient.”

He said, “Nope, if you handled this with an out-of-court settlement and, certainly, if it went through the court case and you were convicted, that is unacceptable behavior in the lives of our leaders and of our state. We are saying you ought to resign. It is your ethical responsibility.”

Of course, the occasion is a Republican Speaker of the House in Kentucky had a sexual harassment case that was settled out of court, it’s now become clear. He said he wasn’t going to resign. He did resign as the Speaker of the House, but he is continuing to be a representative from his district. When the governor was asked about it, that was his response.

There are some people that, perhaps, it was questionable as to whether what they did was truly a matter of sexual harassment, but there are insurance companies that will say, “Look, let’s just settle, anyway, and just move on.”

Now, people are going to say, “No, no. If I’m not guilty, I’m not guilty. I’m not going to settle to move on. I don’t care what it costs, I’ve got to protect my name and my reputation.”

And I think one of the things that would greatly help us in public policy, though, is to legislate a law that, if you bring a case, and lose it, and the judge affirms it as a frivolous case then the people who brought the case have to pay the lawyers’ fees and the court expenses.

That would cut down on some of these because there are some people that bring law cases, knowing that they wouldn’t have a case if it got to court, but also knowing that insurance companies figure, “It’ll cost us less to settle,” and so they go ahead and settle. That is happening constantly and that needs to stop.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Speaking of harassment, Harry, the LGBTQ students at Azusa Pacific University, a Christian private school in southern California, are now demanding that the school end its support of traditional marriage and its disapproval of same-sex relationships on campus.

Basically, they’re saying, “End your support of Biblical morality.” This all stems from a case where a line cook at the university is suing for harassment because he says that he faced verbal abuse by students and employees because he would not take the same Biblical stance.

DR. REEDER: He was challenged by the students in their discussions so, again, now we’ve got a situation where, “Someone disagrees with me and I bring a lawsuit because I have a so-called right to go through life without being challenged intellectually, morally or socially. If I’m challenged, that’s tantamount to harassment.”

It goes on to say that these students say, “We must give up the Biblical view of marriage and sexuality and move beyond its,” quote, “‘bigotry.’”

What we have embraced as the high standards of ethical behavior in what is marriage and sexuality within a marriage defined by one man and one woman for one life, that has stood the test of time of morality and of ethical virtue is now being called bigotry.

Well, my goodness, it seems as if Jesus was right. What will happen if they call evil good and good evil? What will happen if the light is darkness and the darkness is light? How great is that darkness? When you call the darkness light and lightness darkness?

For Christians, when that time comes – and even in this time – we just simply need to say, “Jesus Christ is my Lord and the Word of God is the final authority of my faith and practice. You may call sexuality within marriage and the marriage of one man and one woman bigotry but I call it faithfulness to the Word of God.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, let me take you to Story No. 3: The Washington Examiner and The New York Times both did a detailed story on this a few days ago. Back on October the 24th, the DC Circuit Court said that an illegal youth by the name of Jane Doe must be released in order to have an abortion. That was on October the 24th.

Attorneys from the Department of Justice went to the ACLU attorneys who were representing the young lady and asked when would the abortion take place. They assured them it would not happen for two days. However, those attorneys apparently rushed the girl in the very next morning and had the abortion.

Now, the Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to review the case and bring disciplinary action to the ACLU attorneys who lied.

DR. REEDER: Yes, this is very interesting. The Department of Justice is now, on a case verdict that’s already been made that said that the 17-year-old girl had the right to the abortion and the government would need to pay for this, and they rejected a governmental solution to turn it over to a private company.

The court said she has the right to the abortion and the right to taxpayer funds to fund it. And then, immediately, the next day, she went and got the abortion, even though the lawyers had said, on record, that it would not take place for two days.

The Justice Department has gone to the court to vacate the ruling. Why? They’ve stated two reasons. No. 1 is they want to wipe out the precedent that the taxpayers have to affirm a person’s right to kill their child by paying for it. That is a violation of the laws governing the, quote/unquote, “right to abortion” in our nation.

Secondly, they have done it to bring to bear the misconduct of the ACLU lawyers because they misrepresented and they lied and, therefore, they are seeking for them to be either disciplined or dismissed from their credentials, that is, to be disbarred.

The precedent does need to be confronted because we must not get into a situation in which there’s a precedent of taxpayer money funding the death industry of abortion. And then, secondly, we need to hold the ACLU lawyers to their ethical obligations.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, our final story is out of Town Hall. We all know that Bernie Sanders is pushing hard for single-payer healthcare, although he has a hard time proving how it is going to be paid for. Even The Washington Post said that the high costs cannot be overcome. It’s a trainwreck for the working poor, they said.

I want to point out, in this one story, though, an Ontario doctor has now found out that, for one of her patients in Canada to see a specialist, a neurologist, the wait time is four and a half years.

DR. REEDER: Accessibility in a socialist system is a walking joke. They can’t get into see a neurologist in Canada for four years. Tell me how that’s going to help you when you’ve got a brain tumor.

It is demonstrable that the care that is delivered, the technology that’s developed and the progress in research is totally undermined when you go to a socialist system and you lose out on competition and entrepreneurial dynamics built into the medical enterprise.

And then, No. 3, the cost factor goes out of the roof. It is beyond any expectations of what begins to happen, yet, we continually move toward the socialist offer, thinking, “Oh, it’s free.” Nope, wait until you see what happens to your taxes.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, our theme today is promises made and promises broken. How does the Christian react to these stories?

DR. REEDER: You do not depend upon man and you do not depend even upon man’s goodwill. We have to function with each other and we have to treat each other with dignity and respect but there is only one who has made a covenant with promises and vows and has kept the vows – and the promises are “Yes” and “Amen” because He has kept those vows – and that’s the God of Glory and the covenant is the covenant of grace, whereby Jesus Christ fulfilled the holiness of God and kept the oath of God, “I will save my people.”

And, on the cross, He paid for all the sins of all of His people so you can have everlasting life. And, with that security that God has delivered on His promises and His Son, in whom all of the promises of God are “Yes” and “Amen,” that’s what allows you to live in a world where men and women constantly renege on their promises for self-absorption, self-advancement and self-gratification.

And you also live in the world where Christians imperfectly, but purposefully, try to imitate their Savior and, when we promise something, we say what we mean, mean what we say and never be mean when we say it.

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.

Ledbetter: Alabama’s teachers are standing tall with return to classroom instruction

All of the personality traits, values and life lessons that we carry with us as adults were shaped and instilled in us by the people we encountered in childhood. For many, the strongest influences came from our schoolteachers, who opened new worlds of knowledge and taught us skills that remain with us today.

Consider for a moment the music teacher who taught you to play an instrument, the math teacher who led you to a love of numbers, the history teacher who brought to life the stories of our nation’s past, or the English teacher who inspired you to love great literature.

Teaching is one of the few professions whose impact continues to last for decades after the individual who does the job retires.

As many children across Alabama are preparing to return to school even while the coronavirus pandemic continues, teachers have never been more important or vital or deserving of our deepest appreciation.

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Returning to brick-and-mortar school instruction will, hopefully, restore a sense of normalcy to our children’s lives in these decidedly abnormal times.

A return to the classroom and even resuming the online instruction that some are adopting will also help our students maintain their education progress and continue the important social and emotional development that interaction with their peers and instructors allows.

Our English second language learners will receive the communication skills they need in order to better assimilate, and many low-income students will receive the healthy nourishment from the school lunch program that might be denied them at home.

Given the current circumstances and environment, I recognize that some of our public school employees may have a sense of trepidation about returning to school, and that is certainly understandable. Wearing a face mask to do something as simple as shopping for groceries, paying for gas or walking into a restaurant offers all of us a constant reminder that COVID-19 is a very contagious virus.

But our teachers and educators are setting their concerns aside and answering the call to duty.

I know that Gov. Kay Ivey, State Superintendent Eric Mackey and the staff of the Alabama Department of Education took great care in developing the “Roadmap to Reopening Alabama Schools,” and local school boards are being equally diligent in creating and implementing their own safety guidelines.

The importance of sanitization will be stressed more than ever before, and billions of dollars made available to Alabama through the federal CARES Act will help ensure that any resources that are needed to reopen schools safely will be readily available.

As the majority leader of the Alabama House, I can also offer assurances that the legislature stands ready to pass legislation or make appropriations that are necessary to ease the return to classroom instruction once we are in session.

The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted an even deeper appreciation of the frontline heroes who have remained on the job and provided the most essential services throughout the crisis.

Doctors and nurses in our hospitals and health clinics; grocery store and other retail employees; law enforcement officers, emergency workers and firefighters; postal workers; sanitation workers; restaurant personnel; and those in dozens of other professions are among those who continued working even when times were their toughest.

I am proud to say that the teachers, school nurses, administrators and support personnel in Alabama’s schools also rank high upon the list of those who have stood tall, and their already invaluable service to our state is even more important to students and parents in each of our cities, towns and crossroads today.

Helen Keller, one of Alabama’s most inspirational figures, once said, “It was my teacher’s genius, her quick sympathy, her loving tact which made the first years of my education so beautiful. It was because she seized the right moment to impart knowledge that made it so pleasant and acceptable to me.”

As I close by wishing everyone a safe, happy and healthy school year, we would all do well to keep Helen Keller’s words in mind.

State Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) serves as majority leader in the Alabama House of Representatives

6 hours ago

Alabama Ag Commissioner Pate gives update on unsolicited seed packages from China, urges public to stay ‘vigilant’

MONTGOMERY — Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries (ADAI) Commissioner Rick Pate gave an update Monday afternoon on the spate of seed packets from China that people across Alabama have received in recent weeks despite never having ordered anything.

Pate said that after the state seed labs had performed tests on the packets they had collected from individuals across Alabama, and none of them proved to be dangerous.

“Right at 50% of them proved be some kind of weed flower … 41% were vegetables, and 9% were herbs … we found no noxious compounds, no dangerous compounds,” said Pate at the event.

However, he warned, “They might send out the first seeds that weren’t treated with anything, have a sense of security come about, and then later send something out that could be harmful.”

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The commissioner further urged members of the public to refrain from planting any unsolicited seeds and continue to report them to the Department.

“At the very least something criminal has gone on here,” stated Pate, referencing laws that prevent seeds from being moved across state lines without being inspected by the relevant agencies.

Pate said his department had collected 252 seed samples as of Monday morning.

A total of 385 individuals in all but 11 of Alabama’s 67 counties have received one of the packets, according to information relayed at the press conference. State workers will be collecting the remaining samples soon.

(AL. Dept. of Ag/Contributed)

“Because we’ve got such a good food and drug lab, because we’ve got such a good seed lab, we knew this was inside of our comfort zone,” Pate said of the decision to conduct the seed tests in-house as opposed to shipping them to the federal government.

Andy Tipton, division director of Food Safety and Ag Compliance, said that 25 states had reported similar seed packets showing up at consumers’ doorsteps. He added that the ADAI was turning over all relevant info to the FBI, who were monitoring the situation.

Pate further told Yellowhammer News that one of the prevailing theories remained that the cause was an internet seller running a scam to artificially inflate their customer numbers and create opportunities for fake reviews.

He ended his press conference saying, “We have no idea the reason for this happening, but it doesn’t mean we can stop being vigilant.”

Any Alabamian still receiving one of the packets can report it here.

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

6 hours ago

Alabama basketball star John Petty returning for senior season

University of Alabama star forward John Petty, Jr. will return for his senior season, the player announced on Monday.

The Huntsville native was a second-team All-SEC honoree this past season, after leading the Southeastern Conference in three-point percentage.

Petty was considering entering the 2020 NBA Draft, however he decided to return for a final season in Tuscaloosa after evaluating his prospects. Another college season could see Petty lock down his chance at being a first-round pick.

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Tide head coach Nate Oats released a statement on Monday afternoon celebrating Petty’s return.

“It’s great to have John back for his senior year,” Oats said. “He is certainly one of the best, if not the best, shooters in the country which is extremely important to us with how we play.”

“He’s made it clear that it’s his goal to become a first round pick in the 2021 NBA Draft and we’re going to work with him to make sure he’s in the best position to reach that goal. Let’s get to work!” the coach concluded.

Follow along with the Bama men’s basketball program here.

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

7 hours ago

State of Alabama, University of Alabama System officials unveil GuideSafe app aiming to keep schools virus-free

Key figures from Alabama’s government and university systems joined to announced the new GuideSafe platform that bills itself as the key for students to safely return to college campuses amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The GuideSafe platform will help the state fulfill its promise to test every single college student before they return to campus, and the platform will provide a space for ongoing health monitoring throughout the semester.

The unveiling took place over videoconference, where State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris, University of Alabama System Chancellor Finis “Fess” St. John and other key players detailed the importance of GuideSafe to the upcoming semester.

GuideSafe was developed by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and tech company MotionMobs. It will be provided to any educational institution in the state that wishes to use it.

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Governor Kay Ivey apportioned some of Alabama’s CARES Act funds for the development of GuideSafe and the universal free testing for college students.

St. John on Monday praised Ivey’s “decisive action to provide funding” for the testing initiative and other campus reopening measures.

(Click for higher resolution version that will open in new tab)

GuideSafe will be accessible via app on smartphones and tablets and via web browser on any computer. Students will be invited to join the platform in the coming weeks.

One of the key features of the GuideSafe app is that it will track the location of students via smartphone and then inform them if they have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus.

“This new app – using Google- and Apple-led technology and created by UAB faculty, staff and MotionMobs for the people of Alabama – is a necessary tool in our effort to return to college campuses safely this fall,” said UAB President Ray Watts.

The app also allows students and faculty to report symptoms as they experience them, and get directed to a nearby testing site if necessary.

“The combination of these tools enables every participating college, university and K-12 school to engage faculty, students and staff regarding on-going monitoring of symptoms, exposure and risks of acquiring COVID-19,” said Sue Feldman, professor and director of graduate programs in health informatics at UAB.

A general factsheet on GuideSafe is available here.

Watch:

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

7 hours ago

Trump fires TVA board chair after outsourcing uproar

President Donald Trump on Monday announced that he was removing the Tennessee Valley Authority’s board chairman, Skip Thompson, an Alabamian.

Thompson, a resident of Decatur, is the president and CEO of Corporate Billing, a subsidiary of Birmingham-based National Bank of Commerce. He previously served as the president and CEO of both First American Bank in Decatur and First Commercial Bank in Huntsville, as well as serving on the board of Decatur Utilities.

Trump appointed Thompson to the TVA board in 2018. He was elected chairman of the board last year.

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The president on Monday cited TVA’s plan to outsource information technology jobs overseas as the reason for firing Thompson and one other board member. Trump warned the other board members that they would be next if the outsourcing continued. The president also called on them to replace the organization’s CEO, who Trump said was making far too much money.

The president added, “Let this serve as a warning to any federally appointed board: If you betray American workers, you will hear two words: ‘You’re fired.’”

The TVA is the electricity provider for much of North Alabama. Self-described as “a corporate agency of the United States,” it is regulated at the federal level and not under the jurisdiction of the Alabama Public Service Commission.

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) applauded Trump’s move on Monday.

“TVA fires AMERICANS & hires cheap foreign labor,” the North Alabama congressman tweeted. “TVA executive salaries EXORBITANT. TVA=NO competition, unlike private sector execs who compete to earn profits to earn pay… WAY TO GO [President Trump]!”

RELATED: Doug Jones: ‘The TVA has lost its way’

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