STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Three Hill veterans are on the move up this week on the Hill:

Erin Perrine on the campaign trail (Screenshot from youtube.com).

Erin Perrine returns to Capitol Hill to take up the duties of Communications Director for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), following her tenure with the Trump campaign. Erin is a Hill veteran, having previously worked for Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as both House Majority and Minority Leader, Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), and the Southern Republican Leadership Conference. Erin earned her BA in Political Science and Government in 2010 from the University of Connecticut (Storrs). Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”

SATURDAY SPECIAL: How Does God View It When We Falsely Slander Someone?

By Bruce Cooper

Slander is when someone makes a false verbal statement that damages someone’s reputation. It’s generally an attempt to put someone in, what is perceived as, a negative or a less than generally accepted group or position.

In short, it’s a defamation of what is generally accepted as good character. If you verbally make a false accusation about someone it is called slander.

If you make a written false statement about someone it is called libel. Libel is written, slander is verbal or spoken. As an example, if someone wrote an article about Bruce Cooper (that would be me) and they said that I wasn’t a bad guy but that I did have a tendency to steal, and it was not true about me having a tendency to steal (which, I should note, it is not true), that would be an example of libel. If they just spoke that untruth to someone else, that would be slander.

If you are wondering why I am stating what most of us already know, I will tell you. There is an awful lot of slandering going on right now, by many people who have no religious affiliation and also by many people who do have a religious affiliation, and yes, that would include those of us who call ourselves Christian.

You may think that slander or libel is not a serious offense in the eyes of God but you would be wrong. Actually God’s Word has a lot to say about slander in both the Old Testament and the New Testament and we will take a look at a select few of those Scriptures shortly.

Another term that you will find in the Bible that includes slander or libel is “bearing false witness” and God actually includes this particular offense in the Ten Commandments.  That would be Exodus 20:16 (NASB) “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”

Not strong enough, how about one of the seven abominations that God hates? That would be Proverbs 6:19 (NASB) “A false witness who declares lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.”

Slander or libel can be malicious lying, and God hates lying (Proverbs 6:17 NASB). God’s Word says that slander and gossip are wrong, and Scripture sometimes condemns them together. That would be II Corinthians 12:20 (NASB):

“For I am afraid that perhaps when I come I may find you to be not what I wish, and may be found by you to be not what you wish; that perhaps there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, selfishness, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances;”

I could easily go on but I am pretty sure you are getting the picture. God does not lie, He does not bear false witness, ever. Do the words “you shall be Holy for I am Holy” (1 Peter 1:16) ring a bell?

Yet there are many Christians, some of whom run Christian blogs, that frequently slander or libel those with whom they interact. I’ve been slandered or libeled many times, by other Christians and I am not alone.

In fact, I can confidently state, that most Christians who blog have been slandered or libeled at one time or another. The short story is when we slander or libel someone, we sin against that person and most importantly, we sin against God.

So what does a Christian who is trying to earnestly walk with the Lord do? Here’s a few common sense pointers that might help us not sin against another Christian or God:

  1. Don’t make accusations against others that you have not actually taken the time to determine is true. That means not to accept as truth, accusations from questionable or unreliable sources. Verify from multiple reliable sources. And just so you know, no, Alex Jones would not be considered a reliable source. And if you cannot verify it with a quoted statement from one of their books or previous written statement or exchanges, don’t assume.
  2. If you have not taken the time to validate whether an accusation or inferred assumption is factually true, do not repost it or repeat it. We are accountable for the words we speak and the words we publish to the public and one another (Matthew 12:36-37 NASB).
  3. There is a distinct difference between making a case for a particular subject or topic and stating derogatory comments about the individual to whom we are communicating with or about. If the other person goes low, we do not need to follow. We are called to a higher standard and as ambassadors for Christ, all that we say or write should reflect positively on Jesus.
  4. And if you are not making a case for a particular subject or topic, and you are merely casting derogatory personal accusations at another individual, you might want to question precisely what your objective is and how these derogatory accusations foster the furtherance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn to recognize an off ramp from that straight and narrow path in yourself, when it surfaces.
  5. If you have difficulty maintaining civil emotions or verbal/written decorum, when interacting with others who express opposing perspectives, while on the Internet, seriously consider avoiding those confrontations until you have learned how to maintain a civil discussion. And when and if it does start to get personal, learn how to exit gracefully.
  6. Learn to do your homework on a particular subject or topic that you wish to enter into, with someone else who may have a different perspective. Seek common ground agreements and learn how to state your case without insulting the intelligence of the other individual. And no, it is not necessary for you to articulate your opinion on every topic that comes before you.
  7. Learn to acknowledge when you do not know enough about a particular subject to render an informed opinion. And no, just because you watched one video on YouTube about a given subject does not make you an authority on that subject.
  8. Learn to seek and understand the common consensus on a given topic and why it is the common consensus. If your perspective is from within the “fringe” area of the perspectives on the topic, take the time to understand why it is a fringe perspective. Anyone can say what they believe, darn fewer can defend why.

Something to think about.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

Canadian Bruce Cooper is proprietor of Reasoned Cases for Christ.


 

Reasoned Cases for Christ

Slander is when someone makes a false verbal statement that damages someone’s reputation. It’s generally an attempt to put someone in, what is perceived as, a negative or a less than generally accepted group or position. In short, it’s a defamation of what is generally accepted as good character. If you verbally make a false accusation about someone it is called slander. If you make a written false statement about someone it is called libel. Libel is written, slander is verbal or spoken. As an example, if someone wrote an article about Bruce Cooper (that would be me) and they said that I wasn’t a bad guy but that I did have a tendency to steal, and it was not true about me having a tendency to steal (which, I should note, it is not true), that would be an example of libel. If they just spoke that untruth to…

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THINK ABOUT THIS: Are You A ‘White Supremacist?’

Are all white folks bigots? Advocates of Critical Race Theory would have us believe the answer to that question is a resounding yes. But the Declaration of Independence, written and adopted by a bunch of “old white guys,” declares that “all men are created equal, endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights.”

Did they mean it?

And before you say “yes, but,” can you name any other society in the entire recorded history of mankind that has done more to make that declaration a reality in the lives of the American people? We didn’t fight that bloody civil war for nothing.

One Minute Apologist Bobby Conway points to a vital prerequisite to a healthy discussion of these and related issues that is especially relevant for people working on Capitol Hill — let’s agree on how we define terms, then we can commence the verbal fisticuffs, er discussion:


 

Bipartisan Duo Of Former Hill Aides Say Mandatory Covid Testing Needed For Members And Staff

Kendra Barkoff Lamy is a former press secretary for then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-DE). Doug Heye was deputy chief of staff for then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). There’s not much politically on which these two agreed.

But they both contend it’s past time for Congress to adopt a program of mandatory Covid testing for Members and staffers. Writing on the Opinion pages of the Washington Post, Lamy and Heye contend:

“Frequent testing, with rapid results, would cut the risk not only on Capitol Hill but in every related community across the country. With more testing, exponentially more American lives may be saved through reduced spread. Frequent testing would also set an example of transparency and taking Covid-19 seriously. Anything short of that fails all of us.

“We are not medical professionals, but we know that Congress can act swiftly to mitigate health threats, just as members and staff were quickly protected after letters containing anthrax were mailed to congressional offices in 2001. Congress should institute mandatory testing and make wearing a mask mandatory on Capitol grounds.”

Go here for the rest of the Lamy/Heye oped.


 

Humans Wrote The Bible, So Can It Be Trusted? How About Darwin’s Origin Of The Species?

If you’ve heard it once, you’ve probably heard it often: The Bible was written by a bunch of fallible human beings, therefore it cannot be taken at face value as true and accurate.

J. Warner Wallace, Cold-Case Christianity, NBC’s “Dateline” cold-case detective.

Here’s the logic train: Humans are fallible. The Bible was written by humans. Therefore, the Bible is fallible. That logic train, by the way, is the product of a human, too, so, should it be accepted as true? That’s a discussion for another time.

And while we’re on the topic, when was the last time anybody told you humans are fallible, “Origin of the Species” was written by the human Charles Darwin, therefore Origin is fallible?

Anyway, Cold-Case Christianity’s J. Warner Wallace knows a thing or three about determining the credibility of witnesses (something that every legislative director and assistant on Capitol Hill must also know), and he has some even more arresting thoughts about that logic train in the following video:


 

The Nature Of The Battle: Knowing The Enemy

By Bret Bernhardt

As followers of Jesus working on Capitol Hill, how are we to view the tumultuous events that have unfolded before us across the country?

This is an important question because we are seeking to integrate our faith into our daily practice. It helps shape our views about public policy but also our personal conduct. Now is the time for us to engage in the hard conversations because we are called to influence and usher in God’s Kingdom here on earth.

Bret Bernhardt, former chief of staff for senators Don Nickles and Jim DeMint.

With this in mind we need to understand the nature of the battle. By the battle I mean the way in which we perceive and respond to the world around us. The recent events we have been witnessing — the virus, racial unrest, and threats of anarchy — are part of this battle.

These events are not a one-off phenomenon but have at their core the fallen nature of mankind. For example, the virus and the steps to mitigate it have precipitated actions and reactions that have been at work within our minds and spirit for quite some time. Continue reading “The Nature Of The Battle: Knowing The Enemy”

WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Do You Know The Difference Between ‘Science’ And ‘Scientism?’

Mark Twain famously remarked about how “lightning” and “lightning bug” look and sound an awful lot alike, but they are two entirely different things. Philosopher Kenneth Samples sees much the same relationship between “science” and “scientism.”

Photo by Alex Kondratiev on Unsplash

That difference is hugely significant for Members of Congress, and even more so for their staffers, who must know the difference if they are to render the most credible and useful advice and analyses for their law-making bosses.

So what is the difference between science and scientism? Samples first quotes the National Academy of Sciences’ definition of the former as “the use of evidence to construct testable explanation and prediction of natural phenomena, as well as the knowledge generated through this process.” Continue reading “WORKING ON CAPITOL HILL: Do You Know The Difference Between ‘Science’ And ‘Scientism?’”

Leadership Lessons For Capitol Hill From The Original ‘Star Trek’

Those of a certain age will recall the original “Star Trek” television series with William Shatner as Captain Kirk, which was the genesis of the movie franchise and the second generation TV series featuring Patrick Stewart as Kirk as well.

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

If you work on Capitol Hill these days, odds are Star Trek is not the first place you would think of for valuable lessons on leadership, but Christian philosopher and Reasons to Believe scholar Kenneth Samples, writing on his excellent “Reflections” blog, offers a thought-provoking case to the contrary.

Samples notes that Kirk relies mainly on two subordinates, Dr. Spock, the ship’s science officer, and Dr. McCoy, the ship’s medical doctor, for advice when tough decisions are called for: Continue reading “Leadership Lessons For Capitol Hill From The Original ‘Star Trek’”

Saturday’s Despair Will Be Forever Replaced By The Love Of Sunday’s Risen Savior

It’s the day after the unthinkable happened to the disciples. They didn’t understand why Jesus chose to die on the cross for their sins and for ours, and that tomorrow, Sunday, He would live again. Then everything, EVERYTHING! would be changed forever.

Photo by Jeremy Perkins on Unsplash

For now, though, as the disciples huddled in fear and terror that they would also be killed as followers of Jesus, another man was likely celebrating that the “Jesus Problem” had been, he thought, dealt with by the Sanhedrin, decisively and finally.

That was Paul. He, too, was headed to a miraculous encounter, on the road to Damascus with the Risen Savior who would change everything for him. Years later, Paul would then share with the believers at Rome these incredible truths about Jesus Christ and about them: Continue reading “Saturday’s Despair Will Be Forever Replaced By The Love Of Sunday’s Risen Savior”

Navy Experts Ran A Coronavirus-Like Pandemic War-Game In 2019; The Results Were Eerily Like Real-World 2020

U.S. military strategists and planners continually run war-games to prepare for potential scenarios of future conflict, but did you know they also do these exercises for situations like world-wide disease pandemics?

Photo by Carlos Esteves on Unsplash

“Called Urban Outbreak 2019, the war game involved 50 experts who spent two days coordinating response, containment and messaging efforts around the notional pandemic,” according to military.com.

“Some of the conclusions, such as the way forced mass quarantine can backfire and trigger additional disease spread, and how the mortality rate is better than the overall number of disease cases in assessing the scale of an outbreak — have been proved out through the response to the novel coronavirus,” military.com reports. Go here for more. And believe me, there is much more you will want to know if you work on Capitol Hill.