Remembering RFK


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PROTESTS SPURRED RACIAL CHANGE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THAT TIME ALSO SPAWNED NEW CHURCHES AND DENOMINATIONS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

30 mins ago

Bipartisan bill to regulate vaping set for House committee hearing

MONTGOMERY — Alabama is currently one of only three states to not regulate vaping, but that could soon change.

HB 41, sponsored by Republican Rep. Shane Stringer and Democrat Rep. Barbara Drummond, both of Mobile County, is on the House Judiciary Committee’s agenda for Wednesday afternoon.

The bill would regulate the sale, use and advertisement of vaping – or “alternative nicotine products” – in the state.

In an interview with Yellowhammer News, both Drummond and Stringer emphasized that their bill is intended to protect the health and wellbeing of Alabama minors.

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“The motivation is simple,” Drummond emphasized. “We are trying to safeguard the teens in the state of Alabama.”

She outlined, “Vape shops, as it stands right now, are not regulated at all… And the bill came about because our drug education council locally brought it to our attention, but [Stringer and I] have both seen ourselves, as well as throughout the whole state, the rise of vape shops. They’re popping up everywhere in the state of Alabama.”

While it is too early to tell what vaping is directly doing to users’ health, Stringer and Drummond emphasized there is an objective gateway effect from vaping use and to smoking traditional cigarettes.

“Right now, there is no data that says what is the [direct] effect that these products are having on our young people. What we are seeing, and this is a national trend, is that you’re seeing smoking not going down, but increasing, among young people,” Drummond explained.

Stringer, a career law enforcement officer with stints as chief of multiple local police departments, said educators from every corner of Mobile County have voiced their concerns with the lack of state oversight on vape products and retailers “saying this is an epidemic and a problem what we need to address.”

“The products haven’t been out long enough to know the problems we could face in five, ten, 15 years from now,” he said. “It’s pretty similar to when smoking came out. There was basically no risk at that time, according to everyone. Now, look at all the data that we have to go with smoking… this is a new product we’re learning every day about.”

Stringer said statistics they were shown from the drug education council show an approximately 34 percent increase in children under 19-years-old that tried smoking after vaping.

“In Alabama, we don’t want to wake up one day and see the effects, negative effects on our kids,” Drummond added. “Right now, we’re trying to be responsible legislators to make sure that we look out for the welfare of our children.”

The two lawmakers also stressed that not only do vape shop operators have no restrictions on them, but the state has no way to even keep track of them currently.

Their bill would make it illegal to sell or give vape products to anyone under 19-years-old. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board would regulate retail sales of the products, just as they do tobacco products. Retailers would have to obtain an annual permit, which includes an application fee of $300. Retailers would also have to comply with relevant FDA regulations and post signage warning of the dangers of nicotine usage.

Using vape products in certain places, including schools and child care facilities, would be prohibited.

‘This is something that is nonpartisan, it’s not anything that is about Republican or Democrat. This is something about our young people,” Drummond said. “Because if you look at the amount of nicotine that is showing up in these products, when they first hit the market, the nicotine levels were very low – like five percent. Now, it’s gone up to about ten percent. They’ve got other chemicals in there, like formaldehyde. What is the effect of that upon the brains of our kids? So, this is more of a public wellbeing bill for us.”

Stringer advised that he foresees widespread support in the legislature for the bill.

“Everyone agrees that there has to be some checks and balances [oversight] in place,” he concluded.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 hour ago

House Majority Leader Ledbetter predicts Alabama to ‘move to number one’ nationally in automotive production after Port of Mobile expansion

Tuesday on Huntsville’s WVNN radio, House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R-Rainsville) said he did not think it would be very long before Alabamians started to see tangible benefits of the Rebuild Alabama Act.

The legislation that was recently signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey after she called a special session will raise the gasoline tax six cents in September, then add an additional two cents in 2020 and 2021.

According to the DeKalb County Republican, road projects could start as early as the summer given the bill will allow for counties to bond half of the revenue the additional tax will generate that is distributed to the counties.

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“I really think it will be this summer,” Ledbetter said. “I think we’ll see it immediately, and the reason I say that is inside that bill there is a mechanism that the counties can use half of their money to bond with. So, I know there’s mine – I talked to the president of my county commission, and we’re looking at bonding half of that money. So if that happens, you’re going to see a lot of paving going down, and I think it will be significant, especially on those roads we can’t get buses across, or you know, the transportation has been limited due to the fact of the road conditions.”

Ledbetter also predicted one of the aspects of the law, which is to expand the Port of Mobile, will generate a positive impact statewide, especially with regards to the automotive industry.

“I don’t think there is any question about that,” he said. “The thing I think we’ll see – Alabama rank third as far as automotive manufacturing in the country. I think we’ll move to number one. I really do. I think this is that big of a game changer. I think aerospace engineering, and some of those jobs going to the port, building airplanes and building the ships – we’re going to move up the ladder because we got availability in the port to bring the ships in and out, the post-Panamax ships we hadn’t seen.”

“You know, the sad part about it is we build all these automobiles in Alabama – a lot of those were being shipped out of Savannah because we can’t get them out of our port,” Ledbetter added. “I think once this happens, we’ll see the roll off-roll on where we’ll be carrying cars to Mobile from Huntsville, from Lincoln, from here in Montgomery to see them delivered, or shipped out from Mobile.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 hours ago

7 Things: ‘Clean lottery’ bill may not be clean, Trump says Democrats can’t ‘pack the court’ which they are saying they want to do, bills to ‘Build the Wall’ and end Common Core are introduced and more …

7. President Donald Trump and conservatives vs. social media giants

— Earlier this week, Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) sued Twitter and some users over harassment, shadow-banning, censorship and facilitating defamation. Part of his claim is that their content-based moderation makes them responsible for what is on their platform. President Trump has also jumped into the fray, saying Twitter and Facebook are targeting Republicans for censorship and Congress needs to get to the “bottom” of it.

6. A new potential candidate emerges in GOP primary race — She’s a former Miss America

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— The race to face Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) in the 2020 general election is on and former Miss Alabama, and Miss America, Heather Whitestone McCallum is reportedly polling the race, which most see as a potential prelude to entering the contest. The weak incumbent is already attracting big names like Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile), who is in the race. Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and failed 2017 candidate Roy Moore are possible candidates as well.

5. The U.S. Supreme Court says crime-breaking illegal aliens can be held after their sentences are complete

— The Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could detain non-citizens who have committed crimes that would make them deportable. The law says the government must arrest these illegal immigrants when they are released from custody and then process them through an immigration court. The problem arose when the individuals were not held instantly and instead were picked up years later. Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority that “neither the statute’s text nor its structure” spoke in favor of the ACLU or illegal immigrants’ positions.

4. Information that led to the raid on Michael Cohen’s office was part of a long-term investigation

— The unsealed warrants and documents that have been released give everybody something to hang their hat on. We already know Cohen pleaded guilty to tax crimes, campaign finance violations, false statements to a bank and lying to Congress, but the search warrants show federal prosecutors also suspected that Cohen could have violated foreign lobbying laws and committed money laundering. He was not charged with those crimes. Nothing released shows any collusion, which is really what everyone really wants to hear about, yay or nay.

3. Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) is offering two pieces of  legislation conservatives will love 

— You may be able to help “Build the Wall” by checking a box on your tax return after the Senate leader proposed a bill that would allow a taxpayer to voluntarily send a portion to of their state income tax refund to an organization called We Build the Wall, Inc. Marsh is also offering a bill to repeal Common Core in Alabama. More interestingly, the bill would forbid the state board from taking on any national standards in any subject. As Senate pro tem, Marsh is in a good position to get his bills on the floor of the Alabama State Senate.

2. Democrats are advocating to expand the Supreme Court; President Donald Trump says it is not going to happen

— Multiple Democratic candidates for the presidency and one “conservative” talk show host have made it clear that they would like to fracture some of the norms that our society has held dear for centuries. They want to undo the Electoral College and “pack the Supreme Court.” The president has made it clear he is not interested in the game, saying, “I wouldn’t entertain that.” Trump added, “I can guarantee it won’t happen for six years. We have no interest in that whatsoever.” While the media pretends this isn’t what Democrats are saying, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former Congressman Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) and South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg have all suggested some form of it.

1. Senator Jim McClendon (R-Springville) has officially filed a lottery bill that he called a “clean bill”; The Poarch Band of Creek Indians don’t agree

— The next controversial bill for the Alabama legislature has finally been filed, and a lottery is going to get its day in the legislative body. There are two bills that really do one thing: One bill allocates the revenue from any lottery into a clean split with 50 percent for both budgets, and the other bill creates a constitutional amendment that would legalize a lottery that would put the amendment up for a vote of the people in the 2020 primary elections. McClendon says this is a “clean bill” that would keep casino card and table games illegal in Alabama. It would also protect facilities that are running questionable electronic bingo and allow them to run virtual lottery terminals, which is essentially a slot machine with extra steps.

 

5 hours ago

Del Marsh files bill to give immunity for saving animals from hot car deaths

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) announced Tuesday that he has filed a bill that would give immunity to any person in Alabama who rescues an animal from a car if they believe that the life of that animal is at risk.

“This is a simple bill, but one that is critical especially as the weather begins to warm up here in Alabama,” Marsh said in a statement. “As I travel around my district and even across the state, I have heard from many people that this is an issue that is very important to them.”

If enacted, this bill, SB61, would only allow for immunity from prosecution if a person believes the life of the animal in a hot car is in danger and breaks into the car to rescue them. Before attempting the rescue, a person must contact police or animal control to inform them of the situation and remain at the scene until authorities arrive to investigate.

“This bill is to protect people who are doing the right thing and trying to rescue an animal whose life is in danger,” Marsh added.

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The bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

RELATED: Marsh’s bill to help build Trump’s wall receives committee approval

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

19 hours ago

Del Marsh moves to end Common Core in Alabama

MONTGOMERY — Alabama Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) filed a bill Tuesday that would repeal Common Core in the Yellowhammer State.

In a video, Marsh explained his bold move, which had not been anticipated by state political observers.

He said the bill would “eliminate Common Core in the state of Alabama.”

Marsh said, “In the past, I have let our [state] school board, who dictates education policy, have Common Core in place. But after ten years, the state of Alabama is 49th in math and 46th in reading. We can’t keep going in that direction. So today, I will introduce this bill and ask my colleagues to support it so we can eliminate Common Core and start a new direction for education in the state of Alabama.”

Watch:

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Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn