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Reeder on LGBTQ campus activists: ‘They don’t want to debate what a marriage actually is. They want to silence those they cannot answer.’


 

 

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TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I’d like to take you to a Fox News story out of Georgetown University. A Catholic student group at that university could be stripped of its funding and its ability to meet on campus for its belief in traditional marriage. Love Saxa, a group that advocates marriage between a man and a woman, is under fire from the LGBTQ groups on campus, according to the student newspaper, The Hoya.

Love Saxa’s definition of marriage does not include same-sex couples, as they say they believe that marriage is a conjugal union on every level — emotional, spiritual, physical and mental — directed toward caring for biological children. “To us marriage is much more than commitment of love between two consenting adults.”

The student newspaper then targeted the group in an editorial titled “Defund Intolerance.”

DR. REEDER: What they promoted is marriage and basically affirmed the Roman Catholic view, which the historic Biblical doctrine for thousands of years as the Gospel of Jesus Christ extended from Jerusalem.

As it moved north, south, east and west, it encountered barbarian tribes with barbarian cultures, including barbarian definitions of marriage and family such as bigamy and polygamy. When Christianity came, lives were changed and the structure of marriage and family was changed.

What’s really interesting is, as it was changed, it was then ordered Biblically. We see the ordering of marriage of one man and one woman for one life.

Even, by the way, you see the same trajectory in the Bible, don’t you? That, when sin came into the world, it attacked marriage: there, you have just subsequent to the generation of Cain, and Abel, and Seth, you then have polygamy.

Sin attacks all of God’s creation ordinances and it attacks marriage, and that attacks family and then attacks all of those things that are affirmed by God as sacred and sanctified.

What’s interesting, today, is we have a culture that is descending back into paganism in our so-called “tolerant society,” which tolerates fabrication and mythology in that you call a same-sex relationship, marriage.

Well, by definition, it can’t be marriage. You can call it what you want to, but it’s not marriage, and that’s what this organization said. Marriage is one man, one woman, committed for one life in a conjugal, covenantal, heterosexual, monogamous relationship.

God made the man and the woman to be one. He made them different in order to unite them. Now, we’re equal before God, but we are different. Equality is not interchangeability. Marriage also allows for procreation so monogamous, covenantal, conjugal, heterosexual relationship of one man, one woman, for one life.

Well, that’s what this organization embraces. Guess what? It’s a Roman Catholic University. Guess what the Roman Catholic canons affirm? The historic, Biblical definition of marriage.

Therefore, you have a student organization that is designed to uphold a Roman Catholic tenant, which is a Biblical tenant common to all Biblical Christianity and, now, you have a student group that says you can’t believe that, on this campus, because it is intolerant.

Yes, it is intolerant. For instance, I would uphold the sanctity of life on a Roman Catholic university. I would be intolerant of abortion and I would bring the ideas to bear upon the insidious and undeniable chaos, destruction and violence of the abortion industry. Well, they have done the same thing concerning marriage.

Now, here’s what usually happens: when you can’t match the argument intellectually, what you then do is try to shame the opponent, marginalize the opponent and, if at all possible, silence them because you can’t uphold the debate with them and that’s what is being done here by those who embrace the LGBTQ agenda affirming the same-sex marriage mythology and fabrication.

There is no ability to actually, by definition of what a marriage is, to actually bring into reality a same-sex marriage — a same-sex marriage is not heterosexual, it is not monogamous, and it cannot be conjugal, and it is not established for procreation.

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, let me give you the statement released by the university and get your response to it. The university said, “As a Catholic and Jesuit institution, Georgetown listens deeply and discerningly to the plurality of voices that exist among our students, faculty and staff and is committed to the care of each member of our community.”

It went on to say, “As the students on the Student Activities Commission review the complaint formally submitted by individual students, we encourage all students to follow our community commitment to open dialogue and mutual respect.”

DR. REEDER: What you’re assuring is open dialogue to a group of people who don’t want open dialogue. They don’t want to debate what a marriage actually is. They want to silence those they cannot answer.

I am sure that it’s appropriate to say, “Well, we respect everybody here and their civil rights, etc., etc.,” and that certainly ought to be done, but this doesn’t require a lot of thought. This just very clearly states, “We’re Roman Catholic. We have certain tenets and certain things that we embrace. One of those things that we embrace is marriage. We expect our priests to teach it and we expect our communicants to embrace it.

Therefore, in an educational institution that we support through the Jesuit order, there is no reason for us to outlaw an organization that upholds one of our canon tenets and one of our statements of dogma concerning what marriage is.

On the contrary, we would see that as a success in our educational enterprise that we have students that embrace a Biblical view of marriage and have moved into the public square to contend for it and to defend it in the midst of this intellectual and moral chaos surrounding quote/unquote, ‘same-sex marriage,’ which is a legal, and biological and functional fabrication.

And it is a culturally destructive movement within society because it destroys the one basic unit of society, the family rooted in a marriage, so that children all have the opportunity to have a father and a mother because the marriage from which they came had a husband and a wife.”

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, what does this say about these larger institutions that sometimes can lose their moral bearings? This is a university that’s been around for a number of years and, certainly, it’s going to continue to embrace the Catholic dogma of traditional marriage and, yet, we find that, perhaps, they need some accountability, too.

DR. REEDER: Tom, I know you’ve heard the term “entropy.” That’s the second law of thermodynamics that, when things are left alone, they run down. Well, they not only run down, they run away spiritually.

A denomination, or a movement or a church can have wonderful agencies and wonderful ministries in place but, if they’re left alone and not properly guided, and not properly governed, and not properly held accountable, they can run off.

Now, the Roman Catholic Church, the bishops and their structure, are going to have to take a look at these questions: How does Georgetown University deal with this issue? Will they be consistent to the Georgetown University tenets? Your accountability is not to the students that are bringing this charge and that

The university’s accountability is not to the students that are bringing this charge and that are attempting to silence those who hold to what we believe. The accountability is to the church and they may say, ‘If you don’t uphold what we say we believe, then this university cannot be a part of the Roman Catholic Church.’

I applaud the students who are contending for a Biblical view of marriage and, of course, I am hoping that the university defends the students that are being consistent with the tenets of the university concerning marriage.

But here’s what I do know: we’ve got to get out there with the Gospel of saving grace in Christ because the problem here is that people are looking for salvation and meaning in life by embracing a cultural revolution that stands in opposition to the glory of God. And, in reality, that salvation that is sought in opposition to the glory of God only brings the demise of the individual and the culture.

Contend for the truth in the public square. God will use you not only for redeeming grace, but also common grace; redeeming grace that transforms sinner and common grace that restrains sin in society.

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.

8 hours ago

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

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

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

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

Here’s how:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

 

 

8 hours ago

What’s wrong with Calhoun County’s economy?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 hours ago

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

10 hours ago

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

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

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

But, help is on the way.

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

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

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

Allison Ross is the owner of Yellowhammer News.

Learning from President Trump: Words matter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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