US Attorney General William Barr has blamed “totalitarian democracy” and a “collectivist agenda” for driving faith from public discourse.
In a speech to the 2020 National Religious Broadcasters Convention, Barr said while the founders of the Constitution believed that religion and government should be separate, they also firmly believed “religion was indispensable to sustaining our free system of government”.
Barr said today’s political divisions come from the conflict between two fundamentally different visions of how society should be governed.
“One vision undergirds the political system we call liberal democracy, which limits government and gives priority to preserving personal liberty. The other vision propels a form of totalitarian democracy, which seeks to submerge the individual in a collectivist agenda. It subverts individual freedom in favor of elite conceptions about what best serves the collective,” he said.
“Totalitarian democracy is based on the idea that man is naturally good, but has been corrupted by existing societal customs, conventions, and institutions. The path to perfection is to tear down these artifices and restore human society to its natural condition.”
Barr said totalitarian democracy is almost always secular and materialistic. Its adherents tend to treat politics as a substitute for religion.
“Their sacred mission is to use the coercive power of the state to remake man and society according to an abstract ideal of perfection. The virtue of any individual is defined by whether they are aligned with the program. Whatever means used are justified because, by definition, they will quicken the pace of mankind’s progress toward perfection.”
Barr said experience teaches us that moral values must be based on an authority independent of man’s will to be effective.
“In other words, they must flow from a transcendent Supreme Being. Men are far likelier to obey rules that come from God than to abide by the abstract outcome of an ad hoc utilitarian calculus.”
Barr said the US mainstream media has become massively consolidated and monolithic in its views.
An increasing number of journalists see themselves less as objective reporters of the facts, and more as agents of change, he said.
“These developments have given the press an unprecedented ability to mobilise a broad segment of the public on a national scale and direct that opinion.”
Barr said the key to fixing the problem is a greater diversity of voices in the media.
“I am actually an optimist, and I believe that identifying the problem is the first step in correcting it. Our nation’s greatest days lie ahead, but only if we can alter our course and pay heed to the lessons of the past.”
Evangelist Franklin Graham is suing several venues in the UK that have cancelled his forthcoming gospel events.
According to a Christian Post report, all eight venues in the ministry tour have taken offence at his views on homosexuality, allegedly due to pressure from LGBT activist groups.
The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association responded by launching proceedings against the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow, the FlyDSA Arena in Sheffield and ICC Wales in the South Wales city of Newport.
All eight venues booked by for the UK tour have cancelled their contract.
A spokesperson for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association said the cancelations had “alarming” implications for free speech and religious freedom.
“BGEA’s position remains that in nearly 70 years of public evangelistic outreach ministry, there is no evidence whatsoever that any BGEA event involving Franklin Graham has ever caused a danger to public safety or incited public disorder,” he said.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have wished Ash Wednesday observers “a peaceful and prayerful day”.
“For Catholics and many other Christians, Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the Lenten season that concludes with the joyful celebration of Easter Sunday,” President Trump said in a statement.
“Today, millions of Christians will be marked on their foreheads with the sign of the cross.
“The imposition of ashes is an invitation to spend time during Lent fasting, praying, and engaging in acts of charity. This powerful and sacred tradition reminds us of our shared mortality, Christ’s saving love, and the need to repent and accept the Gospel more fully.”
Trump said he and the First Lady join in prayer with everyone observing this holy day and wish observers a prayerful Lenten journey.
“May you grow closer to God in your faith during this blessed season,” the President said.
FamilyVoice Australia has today given tennis champ Margaret Court an open letter signed by thousands in support of her courageous defence of marriage and family.
“Many of our people are standing firmly with Margaret Court as she continues to champion the true meaning of marriage, despite constant criticism,” said FamilyVoice spokesman Darryl Budge after he presented the message of support.
“At FamilyVoice we pay tribute to Margaret Court’s achievements and pray she will continue to return each volley of abuse with wisdom, tact and grace.”
Well-known as the greatest-ever Grand Slam tennis player, Margaret Court’s remarkable sporting achievements are almost forgotten by her opponents in the cultural tournament of ideas. At stake is the meaning of marriage.
Unafraid of controversy, Margaret believes male-female marriage should be advantaged for its social benefit, particularly for children. But her views attracted severe criticism ahead of the recent Australian Open.
Several of her former tennis colleagues took the opportunity to reject Margaret’s Christian-based views on marriage.
Receiving the FamilyVoice message of support, Margaret Court expressed heartfelt appreciation to everyone who supports her efforts.
“Even as I go out and around the shopping centres, people say ‘thank you for being a voice for me,’” she said.
Commending FamilyVoice publications, Margaret Court said more dialogue in the community is needed on marriage and family especially as society struggles with problems such as domestic violence.
Margaret Court also urged the raising of Christian voices within mainstream culture.
“There is a silent majority out there that has to become the voice for righteousness and truth,” she said.
“We have to go back to our biblical foundations.”
Canadian Robert John Wenman, who has resumed life as a biological male, has urged MPs to reject a ban on therapies designed to help people struggling with gender identity issues.
“I am a man who lived as a woman from 1994 until 2012, and refute the implication that all LGBTQ people are becoming emotionally scarred after undergoing conversion therapy,” said Wenman in a video posted to YouTube.
“I speak from personal life experience countering the assumption that all LGBTQ person's emotional problems stem from a hateful intolerant society. This is simply not the case as I voluntarily went to a fundamental Bible believing Church which I believe saved my life.”
Wenman says LGBTQ people who struggle with mental health issues will be prevented from getting the help they need, if the legislation banning therapy is enacted.
“Earlier in my life I came to believe that pursuing a change of gender would be the fix-all solution for my lifelong deep-rooted emotional problems and inferiority complexes in 1997.
“I had successful sex reassignment surgery and was legally recognised as a woman. I anticipated a new life happily-ever-after, right after the surgery.
“I perceived that I had truly completed my gender change journey and believed that I had closed a chapter my life and resolved all my past emotional issues.”
However, Wenman says his post gender reassignment euphoria collapsed as inescapable emotional episodes returned with increasing intensity.
“I was now in deep depression and searching for help as my complete gender transition had left me emotionally paralysed in a prison of fear with shame and guilt.”
Wenman says professional counseling did not alleviate his severe emotional anxiety and sex reassignment surgery only made his emotional problems worse.
“I remember going to my family doctor and bursting into tears, coming to realize my gender transition was a failure. I was given anti-depressant medication and recommended for counseling. Unfortunately, mental health counseling was of no help; in fact I found myself educating the counselors.
“I was in a very dark place,” Wenman says, as his “emotional turmoil was the byproduct of being in spiritual warfare despite sex reassignment surgery and having attained full legal recognition as a woman.”
He says he learned the hard way the consequences of not living in truth and that there was spiritual warfare against his un-realised spiritual identity that had ripple effects affecting family, friends and acquaintances.
“I became convicted that I must live in truth and therefore changed all my identity back to my given male birth name. I have learned to be thankful for who I am and what I have, including my birth sex and for God's many blessings.”
Wenman said that he is very concerned about the increasing numbers of young people intending to “change gender” and finished his video by calling on senators to vote against the legislation:
“I sincerely hope that the sharing of my own personal experiences will help you to make the very best decisions for Canadians struggling with gender confusion,” he said.
FamilyVoice Australia upholds Christian values and the family: permanence of marriage, sanctity of human life, primacy of parenthood and limited government.
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