Sunday, October 6, 2013
Former ESPN sports broadcaster and once New England Patriot Craig James was fired by Fox Sports Southwest a few weeks ago for his public declaration of his Christian views in opposition to same-sex marriage.
As unlikely as it may seem, this termination, only days after his hiring, was not based upon any on-the-job infraction, but upon statements he made last year during his bid for a Texas U.S. Senate seat that was ultimately won by Ted Cruz.
Among his statements during that campaign, James said that “People choose to be gay. I think it’s a choice, I do. Same-sex marriage, if someone chooses to do that, that’s done, and God’s going to judge each one of us in this room for our actions. And in that case right there, they’re going to have to answer to the Lord for their actions.”
It’s hard to imagine that a major network, such as Fox, would not have known about James’ political and religious stances prior to his hiring. In fact, in an August 30, 2013 announcement from Fox Sports Southwest, that has since been removed, it was declared that, “We’re excited to add Craig to the Fox Sports Southwest team. He’s a talented broadcaster who I’ve admired throughout his career. His knowledge of college football and the experience he brings as an analyst will be a tremendous asset to our coverage,” said executive producer Mike Anastassiou.
Apparently, that sentiment was soon lost as a network spokesman recently told a Dallas Morning News reporter that “we just asked ourselves how Craig’s statements would play in our human resources department. He couldn’t say those things here.”
James maintains that in his 24 years of broadcasting, he’s always been respectful of his colleagues regardless of their personal beliefs or lifestyles, and that “it is essential in our business to maintain professional relationships with people from a diverse background and have tolerance for those of different beliefs.” He also stated, “I have never discussed my faith while broadcasting, and it has never been an issue until now.”
Recently in a Breitbart News report, James also said, “I was shocked that my personal religious beliefs were not only the reason for Fox Sports firing me, but I was completely floored when I read stories quoting Fox Sports representatives essentially saying that people of faith are banned from working at Fox Sports. That is not right, and surely someone made a terrible mistake.”
During his 2012 Senate campaign, James offered his testimony of personal faith in a video posted at YouTube.
James’ legal counsel at the Liberty Institute recently sent a letter to Fox Sports Southwest demanding an ultimatum that he be reinstated within 48 hours, or that they will be met with further legal action.
As a former NFL player and broadcaster for CBS, ESPN, ABC, and now Fox Sports Southwest, Craig James has arguably more than proven himself as an able and professional expert in his field. In spite of this though, he seems to be one of the latest victims of political correctness and DC agendas that seek to strip American citizens of their First Amendment constitutional rights to freedom of speech, religion, and religious expression.
Another curious consideration is that the network that hired and fired him is one of the several broadcasting divisions under the umbrella of the Fox Network. The network’s viewership leading Fox News’ mantra is “fair and balanced.” At best, the network’s decision concerning Craig James does not seem to live up to this standard. What do you think?
Photo Credit: YOUTUBE/CRAIGJAMESFORSENATE
Saturday, August 3, 2013
(This question actually has nothing to do with the late Rodney King, who coined this phrase; but with the inclusion of the word “all,” the answer is emphatically no.)
It seems we are hearing this phrase a lot lately, whether word for word or simply implied, especially from our elected public servants (and specifically the Republican ones.)
I’m not trying to dog on the Republican Party here; in fact, I’ve voted that way almost 100% of the time since I have been of the age to cast my ballot. It’s just that my sentiment these days, that Republican is the only way to vote, is offered with simultaneous feelings of duty and disgust.
During his time in office, President Ronald Reagan spoke of the Republican Party’s need to hold securely to “bold colors, not pale pastels.” But unfortunately, with spokesmen such as Lindsay Graham, Chris Christie, John McCain, and others, this conviction is proving increasingly unpopular within the elected of the party. Is this because their constituents or primary voting base is becoming more moderate or even liberal in their views of the issues? Most polls and surveys show that this is not the case. Every election cycle, whether on the state or national level, demographics including high volumes of Republican voters vote for the most conservative candidate available practically every time. This is why everyone from the most conservative fresher Republican to even Democrat candidate Obama campaigns as the most conservative individual to have been born of a mother since Ronald Reagan or William F. Buckley, Jr.
So, what’s the reason, we wonder? I don’t have a guaranteed positive answer to this question today, but one theory is that these elected politicians have 1) Never sought public office for the right reasons (for you and me), 2) Fallen prey to the prestige, power, and greed that so often entices those in office, 3) Decided to become beloved darlings of the media, 4) Become truly afraid of their opponents inside and outside of their party, or they are guilty of all of the above or any combination of the above.
These same politicians who speak out so strongly against the issuance of political labels, such as “RINO” (Republican In Name Only) and “liberal,” were formerly all about political labels when they first campaigned for office and later for re-election, especially when it comes to the claim of the label “conservative” for themselves. Maybe they should all go back to the Reagan/Buckley model of conservatism to see what this label really means (or maybe they think that their unintelligent voters haven’t?) We can only investigate and speculate.
One thing, though, is certain; they’re dropping like flies, folks. The public servants we trusted enough that we went to the polls and checked the box by their name are betraying us daily. No state or officeholder seems to be immune to this phenomenon. Consequently, those in office who are standing fast upon principles are now vastly outnumbered and deserve our continued encouragement, support, and votes.
Over the last several years, discussion about the viability of a third party in big elections has gained decibels. All speculation of the changing mood of the voting public aside, though, the Republican party is still moving swiftly in the direction of not a third party, but one single party. They seem to believe that we don’t need those bold colors anymore. We need to “reach across the aisle.” We need to “work together in a bi-partisan way to get things done,” even if those things stand in stark contrast to what their voters elected them to do. You see, sometimes even “nothing” is better than “something” (especially when that something is detrimental to our nation’s founding, our freedoms, and our best interests as a whole.)
Some of the Republicans we voted for to represent us also say that the party should include a wider variety of viewpoints on the issues. Call me old fashioned, but I thought that was what our two-party system of government was instituted to do. It was meant to hold the other OPPOSING party’s viewpoint in check, providing a vantage point from which to evaluate one’s stance, considering whether it is substantial and relevant or weak and irrelevant.
We don’t need a variety of viewpoints in the Republican Party. THAT’S the real reason the party is in trouble. We need viewpoints that consistently reflect those of their base.
For those of us who honor the founding of our nation to be based on freedom of religion and a set of Judeo-Christian laws derived from the Bible, we know that our elected officials are already in a tough position on their first day of office. They are asked to be both public servants and leaders at all times. Historically, the best available example of one who accomplished this task, to whom they may be held beside as an example, is Jesus Christ. That’s a tough act to follow.
Christians and Bible readers also know, though, that Christ Himself said that He would rather that we would be hot or cold and not lukewarm. He said that He would spew such individuals out of His mouth. Maybe we should follow His example next time we go to the ballot box.
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Throughout recorded history, one stark reality remains: humans must dehumanize other humans in order to condemn them to an inhumane institution.
Otherwise, the backlash from such an objective would surely be halted in its tracks within a single family unit or circle of friends. It would definitely never receive public support.
This phenomenon proved true in the context of slavery in America. Subjected to their own and/or others’ consciences, most slave owners could not bear to consider their subjects as being as human as themselves and continue to engage in this historically worldwide practice. Preserved documents and life wills of the period bear out this proof, often referring to male slaves as “bucks” and female slaves as “house wenches.”
The same has proven true with the practice of abortion. Proponents of abortion on demand always refer to an unborn child, not as a child or a baby, but as a fetus. Accepted definitions of the word “fetus” with consideration toward its origin vary, but among their descriptions are the words and phrases “little one”, “young one”, “young child”, and “offspring”. So where’s the argument here?
The reality of abortion is that the practice usually consists of the murder of unborn babies as a matter of convenience, enabled by a society that has offered it acceptance and legality.
Abortion has become a big business in our country, with the misleadingly-named Planned Parenthood at its core. Millions upon millions of dollars are made each year through the willful murder of innocent unborn children (and as recent developments have shown, even in the latest period of their human development.)
We have probably all personally known of young people who have been faced with the reality of unplanned pregnancy. Most of us probably even know those who would choose to kill their unborn child rather than face the embarrassment and scrutiny of their parents and peers that would come with the admission to this growing life.
Those involved in the big business of abortion are very aware of these individuals and their situations as well. That’s why the proponents of abortion fight tooth and nail against any legislative measure that would require the parental consent of minors before they are legally allowed to have an abortion.
These proponents would also rather that we the public did not realize that their go-to Roe v. Wade court decision left to the public and the courts the final say as to what point in the human condition life begins. Historically, the people of the world have always recognized conception as this point where human life begins.
This tradition is lost on those of the majority of abortion supporters who also believe in the “right” of individuals to be subjected to late-term abortions. In varying levels of intensity, this fight is raging across our nation.
Recently, in Texas, state legislators vied for a vote on a bill that would outlaw late-term abortions and place additional restrictions on abortion-on-demand. Democrat State Senator Wendy Davis presented a 13-hour filibuster last Tuesday, June 25, in hopes to thwart this bill.
Although her filibuster was finally disqualified after a decision that she was guilty of three infractions against the rules of the floor in her filibuster, she still managed to run down the clock to the point that a final vote on the bill could not be reached. As always, it seems that yet another liberal politician would readily sacrifice their own honor and reputation for a larger cause.
All private opinions of Texas Governor Rick Perry aside, all should realistically admit that he does often speak the truth. Recently, liberals, including the subject of his statement, have attacked his words and his position concerning abortion legislation in his state. The most notable content of his statement went as follows: “…The fact is, who are we to say that children born into the worst of circumstances can’t go on to lead successful lives? In fact, even the woman who filibustered the Senate the other day was born into difficult circumstances. She was the daughter of a single woman. She was a teenaged mother, herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate. It’s just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own examples: that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential, and that every life matters.”
Among us as American Christians (not in the loose definition of the term), we recognize the travesty of abortion as a sign of the times, given to us as a warning from the God-inspired prophets and apostles of the Word of God in such passages as the first chapter of Romans. We, as those who truly know the God upon whose principles this nation was founded, realize that we are now witnessing the time in human history when because “…they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient,” as outlined in Romans 1:28. We also realize that we are living in the time when the majority of the world’s inhabitants are “…Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them,” as verses 31 and 32 go on to explain.
Photo Credit: -nanio- (Creative Commons)
|Western Center for Journalism|
Sunday, May 26, 2013
God bless those who continue to honor a tradition of bravery and sacrifice in their service to the people of our nation in its armed forces. Today we honor you and especially those alongside you and those who came before you who offered the ultimate sacrifice for the causes of liberty and freedom: ideas authored by Almighty God himself.
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." -- John 15:13
"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." -- John 15:13
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
It now seems clear that the Department of Homeland Security’s stockpiling of ammunition and other warfare supplies can no longer be dismissed as “conspiracy theory,” but is a very real development in the actions of an overreaching federal government.
Many have suggested and assumed that the ammo and gun shortage experienced across the country is the result of private citizens’ unprecedented purchases, in recent years, in preparation for impending gun control measures. While this is true in part, it is only half of the logical explanation that can be assessed based upon available facts.
This phenomenon has been described as creating a perfect storm for private gun owners when paired with the reality that the DHS and other federal agencies are buying up once-available guns and ammunition like never before. Mainstream news sources such as Rawstory and Media Matters have attacked Fox News’ Lou Dobbs and others for their statements affirming that the government has indeed purchased at least 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition (especially including hollow points), 7000 fully automatic assault rifles, and 2700 new light armored vehicles, as well as riot gear including body armor. DHS has also invested $2 million with a contractor that recently apologized for its production of shooting targets depicting elderly gun owners and even pregnant women and children in residential settings, after photos and publicity of the targets recently gained widespread exposure.
As it turned out, these claims have proven to be very accurate, as even Media Matters admitted that DHS officials made the 1.6 billion rounds purchase as they were also busy denying it. The organization also insisted that “the order for 2717 new light armored vehicles [came] from the United States Marine Corps – not the Department of Homeland Security.” This claim seems baseless, as all photos have clearly shown the DHS emblem emblazoned on the tanks in question.
All these dismissive reports against the supposedly “misleading” claim of the DHS stockpiling effort can be traced back to a February 14 Associated Press report, lacking any investigative basis, that simply repeated the statement from DHS official Peggy Dixon, who claimed the bulk ammo purchases to have been made in order to save money, and that the bullets were solely intended for military and federal law enforcement training purposes. This claim becomes weaker upon consideration that hollow-point ammunition is significantly more expensive than standard rounds, and military spokesmen and ammunition experts contend that such bullets are unsuitable for training purposes and have never been used for such a purpose.
Seemingly, at the very least, even if the government isn’t preparing to make war against its own people, they are preparing for civil unrest, which is suspect enough for the warranted concern of the American people. The government may well be, however, deliberately attempting to restrict the supply of ammunition, thus the functionality of firearms, from the American people. It has never been a well-kept secret that the Obama administration is no big fan of the Second Amendment. The longstanding fears of many have begun to be shared by several of our elected officials who are increasingly becoming more vocal in their concerns about the government’s attempt to strip citizens of their right to keep and bear arms. Recently, as a guest on Aaron Klein’s radio show, Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inholfe accused the Obama administration of buying up unprecedented levels of ammunition as a means to intentionally bypass the Second Amendment until law-abiding citizens “can’t even buy ammunition because government is purchasing so much.” Inholfe cited last month’s testimony from DHS Chief Procurement Officer Nick Nayak who said DHS has the right to buy up as much ammunition as it deems necessary. He mentioned that the ammo grab is an ongoing concern, as even still “they’re planning to buy 750 million rounds. Well, that is more than three times the amount that our soldiers are using for training to defend our nation. So, it’s just another effort to restrict gun activity and ownership.” The senator is in the process of introducing the Ammunition Management for More Obtainability (AMMO) bill that will limit “non-defense, armed federal agencies to pre-Obama levels of ammunition.”
There now seems to be ample evidence that our federal government, namely the Obama administration, is up to no good when it comes to the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding American citizens. Historically speaking, this is a very alarming cause for concern. Hopefully, this concern then will continue to be shared by more elected officials in our local, state, and federal governments, as well as among our military and law enforcement communities. Lou Dobbs likely said it best with the following statement: “It’s like I tell anyone who brushes off what I try to tell them as simple ‘conspiracy theory.’ At some point it stops being a theory, and is in fact a conspiracy. I also remind them that we’re not talking about science fiction or aliens here. We’re talking about the very REAL potential of government misconduct towards its own people; something that has happened time and time again in history.”
Photo: Standard Compliant
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Recently, upon some last minute plans to take in the food and culture of West, Texas in celebration of my wife’s birthday, what we found there was astonishing, even given our knowledge of the disaster there.
I guess I expected to see people who could not and have not returned to any normalcy in their daily lives. I assume I expected to find a community whose citizens were holed up in their houses (those still fortunate enough to have one) who wouldn’t dare to grace a smile upon their faces, much less crack a joke. For the most part, I found just the opposite to be true.
As we looked around town for an establishment that served authentic Czech cuisine, we waited in a line of vehicles of locals going about their daily routine who had also stopped for a passing train. I saw some men standing and conversing beside their motorcycles as they waited to continue on their weekend ride. I spotted a bumper sticker with an encouraging line dedicated to West in a song by a nearby local band. Inside that authentic establishment, we finally found, was delicious food, friendly service, light-hearted humor, and a downhome atmosphere. The spirit of this community was astonishing!
The information I had learned from available news sources, though, also didn’t prepare me for the devastation I saw. As we drove around town, I saw some relief stations set up here and there, with very few people gathered around them. I began to see more and more boarded up windows along the way, but there was eventually no doubt when we had finally arrived at the most affected part of town. There weren’t just a few damaged homes, as I was led to believe, but several entire city blocks, an apartment building, and an elementary school that were, for all practical purposes, totally destroyed. For a historical record, my wife snapped pictures of some of the devastation we saw along the way.
I saw large receptacles of potable water placed at the curb in front of each of these homes. Messages could also be seen, spray-painted on the fronts of these homes (not caused by vandalism, but placed there to convey words of sympathy and encouragement.) One home, obviously that of a fallen firefighter, donned the crest of the local fire department, with the name of the fallen hero and the letters “R.I.P.” One home especially evoked emotion for us as we read its message: “God Bless West.” My wife snapped a photo of this home (above); and when we took a glimpse of the photo after returning home, we were filled with emotion once again to see that the captured image was of a home with its damage completely obscured by the radiant light of a setting sun that completely enveloped it. My wife and I don’t often go out of our way to look for supernatural signs beyond what can be observed daily in our natural surroundings; but we both took this as a blatant sign that God had never left the side of this community, and that he does indeed remain there to bless them once again. This community is resilient; but we should offer our prayers for them daily, as well as our continued assistance in any way possible.
Biblically speaking, we live in a cursed world as the result of mankind’s original decision to accept sin and disobey our maker. In such a world, disasters can and will happen. If we follow His will for our individual lives and for our communities, however, He will bless us (even in the face of such tragedy) in such a way that our lives will serve as examples to those who need His presence. West is just such a community. They serve as just such an example. To quote The Chris Lowe Band’s song previously referenced to: “Our town might be shaken, but our faith is not stirred.”
Photo credit: Shawn Paul