New Communications Director Rhonda Craig has taken over the thankless tasks of corralling the journalists, PR hacks and other disreputable characters covering Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD). Rhonda earned her MPPM in public policy analysis this year from Georgetown University and her BA in broadcast journalism from the University of Missouri.
Tjesis Thatte has a return engagement in the office of Rep. Antonio Cardenas (D-Calif.) as Chief of Staff, following a stint at the Internet & Television Association (NCTA). Before that, Tjesis was Deputy Chief of Staff, Legislative Counsel and other posts for Cardenas, beginning as a legislative intern. Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up The Hill This Week”
You’re strolling down a hallway in the Dirksen building when suddenly you are being accosted by a legislative counsel for your home state’s other senator.
You’ve not previously met the guy and, frankly, you’ve heard some whispers among colleagues that he’s, shall we say, a little odd. But you had no idea to expect what the guy proceeds to tell you now:
“Yes, I am the God who created and sustains the entire universe, including you. I know all things from beginning to end and nothing ever happens that surprises me because I see it before it happens. Oh, one more thing — accepting me as your personal savior is the only way you or any other human being can receive eternal life in Heaven.”
That scenario may be an imaginary one, but take yourself back 2,000 years ago in what is now Israel and odds are excellent you would hear about a Jesus character making such claims. You might even meet him on a road. Would you believe His claims about Himself?
Hummingbirds are supposed to be able to fly, but they do. In fact, they move in ways that remind us of helicopters, hovering in place this second, then streaking off in a new direction. The maneuverability of common house flies is even more amazing.
So what have hummingbirds and common house flies to do with anything? They are inspirations of a developing field of technology known as “biomimicry.” It’s the adaption of capabilities and designs found in nature to improving the way we humans live. Congressional staff will do well to become familiar with the technology and its possibilities.
But biomimicry also points us toward a crucial fact about the natural world — the amazing capabilities nature displays in countless ways are collectively a strong argument for an intelligent designer. Kyle Butt of the Apologetics Press explains:
Regardless of how one views evolution or the role of racism in American history, the reality is that for decades advocacy of racial superiority and inferiority was an intrinsic aspect of evolutionary sociological and political thought.
Ota Benga’s sad story as the central figure of the zoo’s exhibit needs to be told and it especially should be heard by congressional staffers in 2020. The Bronx Zoo recently apologized for that tragic aspect of its long organizational history.
In that connection, David Klinghoffer, editor of Evolution News & Science, offers this excellent profile of Pamela Newkirk, the investigative journalist whose work prompted the zoo’s apology, work that is further illuminated in the following video that tells Ota Benga’s journey:
A Kroger grocery store in Conway, Arkansas, fired two long-time women employees who declined to wear aprons bearing a LGBQT pin because doing so would force them to appear to endorse a political opinion that violates their Christian faith.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbids discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin, so the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against the Ohio-based grocery chain with stores in 35 states, according to McClatchy News. The stores are Kroger and Harris-Teeter outlets.
“Companies have an obligation under Title VII to consider requests for religious accommodations, and it is illegal to terminate employees for requesting an accommodation for their religious beliefs,” said Delner-Franklin Thomas, district director of the EEOC’s Memphis District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas, Tennessee and portions of Mississippi.
“The EEOC protects the rights of the LGBTQ community, but it also protects the rights of religious people,” she said in an EEOC news release announcing the suit earlier this week.
“And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the great and first commandment.And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’— Matthew 22:37-39
And C.S. Lewis said:
“A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell.
“You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.” – C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.
It’s all but an article of faith among gay rights advocates that same-sex attraction is rooted in genetics, therefore, the argument goes, it is not a question of moral choice, but nature.
A decade or two ago, public discussion of the search for “the gay gene” was common, but not so much in more recent years. The reason, according to this Colson Center video, is that the evidence for the existence of such a gene simply doesn’t exist.
That doesn’t mean such a gene will never be found, but it ought to encourage advocates on all sides of these issues to avoid definitive declarations about what the science does or does not prove:
His name was Father Patrick Peyton and he was uniquely a man of public prayer. He prayed with Hollywood celebrities like Frank Sinatra and he drew crowds of thousands and thousands of regular Joes and Joans attracted by his intense passion for God.
Come October 9, there will be a movie out about Father Patrick and, judging by the following advance trailer for it, I’d say it is well worth seeing. Check it out:
Returning to the Hill as a Policy Analyst for Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee is Clare Paoletta, working for Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). Clare was previously Project Coordinator for the National Association of Community Health Centers and before that an Intern for Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI). Clare expects to complete a MS degree this year from Georgetown University and she is a 2018 graduate with a BA in political science and government, and biology from Fordham University.
Making the transition from two years as Special Assistant to President Donald Trump in the White House to Senior Policy Adviser to Rep. Larry Buschon (R-IN) is Kelly Collins. Kelly has also previously worked for Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL) on the House Energy and Commerce Committee and for Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR). She is a 2016 graduate of the University of Dayton in Spanish and international studies.
Christine Leonard is the new Counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, working for the chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY). Christine is a Hill veteran, having worked as Senior Counsel for four years for Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA) and before that as Legislative Assistant to Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-MA). She was also Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy for two years under President Barack Obama. Christine law degree was awarded in 2001 by Boston College Law School.Continue reading “STAFF NEWS: Look Who’s Movin’ Up On The Hill This Week”
Just a few weeks ago, North Valley Baptist Church Pastor Jack Trieber was vowing his Santa Clara, California, congregation would not submit to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Covid restrictions.
“We are not closing down this church,” Trieber declared in a video address that went viral on the Internet. That declaration came after officials imposed more than $50,000 in fines against the congregation for holding indoor services, contrary to the restrictions.
This past Sunday, however, Trieber preached to his congregation outdoors, with congregants sitting in their cars listening to him on their vehicles’ radios. Instead of the familiar “Amen” in response to the sermon, congregants honked their horns.
“Trieber said he came to the decision to hold outdoors services after much prayer and fasting. ‘We have been so conditioned in America [that] we have to fight everything,’ Trieber said,” according to Christian Headlines (CH).
“Trieber read from Exodus 14:14 – ‘The Lord shall fight for you’ — and said he was handing the battle to God instead of personally fighting it. In Scripture, Trieber said, ‘God fought many of the battles with the people doing nothing,’” CH reported.
“Santa Clara County had filed a lawsuit against the church but has dropped it in light of the church moving its services outdoors, he said. ‘To me, that’s a victory,’ Trieber said,” CH reported.
J. Warner Wallace, the former NBC “Dateline” cold-case detective who is now a nationally known Christian apologist, answers the “who created God” question with an analogy from his days delivering search warrants:
Epiphanies are those moments in life when something suddenly and without warning becomes clear in our lives and we begin to see things with new insight — and perhaps begin to think and do differently as well.
For my part, probably the most important such moment in my life came at 9:15 am in the morning of March 1, 1991, when I awakened from my last drinking spree and looked around at the wreckage I’d made of my life and those of others near and dear to me.
It was at the precise moment that the Lord opened my eyes to see that wreckage honestly and to realize that I had to make up my mind, do I really believe what I profess about being a Christian and, if I do, why don’t I start acting like one instead of being a hypocrite?
It hasn’t been all sweetness and light since then, but the Lord has changed me in countless ways and turned my life into an incredible adventure of learning, loving and living. There isn’t a day goes by that I don’t thank Him for that epiphany.
But that’s enough out of me. Philosopher Kenneth Samples writes of his own epiphanic experiences in an interesting post on his blog, Reflections. He writes movingly about his discovery of a Dutch theologian who knew his father, an American GI, fighting in World War II.
California authorities are clearly determined to make an example of Pastor John MacArthur and Grace Community Church (GCC) in Los Angeles County in retaliation for defying the state’s ban on indoor worship meetings.
The ban has been challenged by other California congregations, but MacArthur is an internationally known evangelical pastor, book author and opinion molder. He and GCC are represented in court by Jenna Ellis and the Thomas More Society. Go here, here and here for previous HillFaith posts on GCC.
Yesterday, Sunday, September 13, MacArthur and GBC defied a court order specifically banning the congregation from meeting indoors. During the service, MacArthur described the specific demands California seeks to impose on all churches in the state.
As MacArthur goes through these demands, it should be obvious to all reasonable persons that California officials are attempting bureaucratic strangulation by regulation of the First Amendment’s guarantee of religious freedom and assembly.
If you work on Capitol Hill, you better understand Critical Race Theory (CRT) because it suffuses, both esoterically and exoterically, so much of the analyses of social, political and economic issues heard in media, on campus, in the think tank world and in politics.
If you are Christian who works on Capitol Hill, it’s even more important that you understand the roots of CRT, its essential assumptions and claims, and the consequences of accepting it as a legitimate analytical tool for policy-makers.
The following Colson Center video addresses the basic question of whether CRT is consistent with Biblical Christianity: