If you haven’t yet heard, Kim Davis just got released from jail! I know lots of people are excited about it!
Here’s a short video of Pastor Greg Locke giving his thoughts on the event. Excellent overview! When Christians unite, and are not ashamed, NOT JUST OF THE GOSPEL, but of things that are corollary to the Gospel, such as #ReligiousLiberty, or #Conservatism, things happen.#KimDavis is out of jail, an hour before the rally is even to begin! Praise God!
Thank you, God, that Kim Davis is free! And it is good to see a bit of common sense from folks, as her imprisonment was totally hypocritical and uncalled for.
Did your candidate stand with Kim Davis? Ted Cruz did. Here’s proof. In fact, Kim Davis is free right now at about the same time Ted Cruz arrived in Kentucky. I wonder if it was a coincidence, or if the judge felt a bit of the fear of authority from Ted Cruz. 🙂
I found this Yahoo! News article smearing Kim Davis, and wanted to “answer the bias”! I’ll present their exact text, and break down why I think it’s so out of harmony with reality and common sense. Here’s the address, unless it gets taken down: http://news.yahoo.com/no-kim-davis-cant-beg-041235821.html. My text comments will be in red. 🙂
No, Kim Davis, You Can’t Beg for Money on GoFundMe
By Keisha Hatchett September 5, 2015 12:12 AM
While Kentucky clerk Kim Davis sits in jail for being in contempt of court after refusing to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, her lawyers are hard at work trying to clean up her mess ✫ Stop right there. Why is it “her mess”? More like, “the Supreme Court’s mess,” because SCOTUS isn’t supposed to be writing laws FOR THIS VERY REASON – it leads to sticky situations where people get thrown in jail instead of knowing how to resolve difficulties. ✫ and the judge is in a bind when it comes to hitting her where it hurts.
DailyKos reported that “Plaintiffs in the case had asked [District Court Judge David] Bunning to fine Davis, but they specifically requested that he not jail her. Bunning, though, said fines would not work because others might raise money to pay the penalty on her behalf.” Well, thanks to a pair of homophobic bakers, they won’t be able to do it on GoFundMe. ✫ Okay, “homophobic” has nothing to do with making a logical point, but is merely a SMEAR to make people feel emotional hate towards the person. In fact, I got a chance to meet Aaron Klein, and to see Melissa Klein in person, at the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally on August 21 of this year, and Melissa is a sweet person who has worked very hard at her business and was plainly hurt emotionally by the ruling against her. She spoke of how many things she would do for gays because she loved them, but she could not violate her conscience. Yes, Yahoo, there is such a thing called a “conscience,” and #ConscienceMatters to a lot of folks. That’s what the 1st Amendment is all about, is making sure government doesn’t step in and force people of any faith to do things that they don’t feel comfortable about. ✫
According to Salon.com, the crowdsourcing service nixed a fundraising campaign for Sweet Cakes by Melissa owners Aaron and Melissa Klein earlier this year. They were fined $135,000 for refusing to go through with a wedding cake request ✫ Isn’t it INSANE that Aaron and Melissa were asked to pay such an astronomical amount for “emotional harm” done to the gay couple? What if I asked for $2 million in emotional damages from the actions of Obama and extreme Democrats in charge in America? Let’s get real, and stop the outlandish fines. If a gay couple is so unstable as to need $100K+ just because someone didn’t want to participate in celebrating their actions, then perhaps they should consider becoming straight. At the very least, it sure ins’t convincing that they were “born that way” when they are so easily discombobulated. ✫ for a gay couple. In a statement, GoFundMe explained:
“After careful review by our team, we have found the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign to be in violation of our Terms and Conditions. The money raised thus far will still be made available for withdrawal. The subjects of the ‘Support Sweet Cakes By Melissa’ campaign have been formally charged by local authorities and found to be in violation of Oregon state law concerning discriminatory acts. Accordingly, the campaign has been disabled.”
Later on, its policy was changed to explicitly say that “GoFundMe will not allow campaigns that benefit individuals or groups facing formal charges or claims of serious violations of the law.” In order words, Kim Davis is out of luck. ✫ And here we go again. “Out of luck” is a rather poor choice of words. Was it lucky for SCOTUS to rule against the will of the people of America and try to establish law, when they’re only supposed to be rendering OPINION? Was is lucky for her to be put in a position where she might lose her job? Was it “lucky” for her to be thrown into prison? “Out of luck” is a poor choice of words, Yahoo. You can do better. ✫
However, she does have supporters in other anti-gay crusaders like Mike Huckabee, ✫ Not so fast, Yahoo. Once again, you’re using a loaded term by saying “anti-gay.” We could just as well call the pro-choice crowd “anti-life” if we wanted to, but we generally use the term “pro-choice” to show a bit of civility. When you use a term like “anti-gay,” it makes it sound like Mike has animosity against gays, which is not the point at all. The point is, Mike believes every American should retain his or her 1st Amendment rights, and should not be threatened with jail for violating their conscience – quite a different matter than being “anti-gay.” ✫ who is planning an “#ImWithKim Liberty Rally” on Tuesday. ✫ God bless him for doing it! That’s awesome that he’s holding a rally to defend Kim from being stupidly thrown into prison! Why don’t you like him holding the rally? Are you a #Hater, Yahoo? Apparently so. ✫ The National Organization for Marriage also stepped in, calling for “a massive mobilization of the grassroots and a ferocious public relations and advertising campaign.” They invite you to help raise $100,000 for the struggling clerk (who makes $80,000 per year) by Labor Day. ✫ Ah, but Yahoo, you were glad the gay couple got $100K+ in emotional damages awarded to them for simply being refused a cake at one store. Wow, it might have cost them an extra hour or two at the worst, and if they REALLY BELIEVE gay marriage is morally right, they SHOULDN’T HAVE any emotional damages when a person like Melissa Klein respectfully and lovingly declines to do their request. Now, Kim Davis DOES have a right to some SERIOUS emotional damage compensation. She’s been thrown in jail, her name tarnished, her job possibly ended, and people have expressed violence towards her. To be consistent, if the gay couple got $135K awarded for them, Kim Davis ought to be awarded something like $1 Billion dollars, because she’s probably been through about 1,000 times as much trouble as the gay couple in Oregon was put through for having one store not bake them a cake. ✫
Yeah, good luck with that. ✫ Snarky, Yahoo. Hope you can get over your hate, and bury the hatchet. At the very least, if you had any respect, you’d support the effort to free Kim Davis. #FreeKimDavis! ✫
So I was visiting a Baptist church this Sunday morning, and they had a guest speaker talking upon the subject of “How to Make a Difference in the World,” or something close to that. I thought it was going to be good, but I was disappointed. Because again as so often in churches these days, the underlying premise was, “Shut up and admit the liberals are right.” The message was, “Be sinless! And be so ashamed of yourself if there’s anything in your past that’s slightly inconsistent that liberals or a fellow church member could point to, that you don’t dare call black, ‘black;’ and white, ‘white’!” The message was, “Be discouraged, because they’re probably going to throw you into a prison, and you probably deserve it, too!”
You know, that’s the nonsense that the Jewish leaders were spouting off to their Jewish congregations at the time of the Holocaust. And what did it do? It just played right into Hitler’s playbook.
Well, you know what? I’m not accepting the garbage.
Hitler’s loss of popularity in Germany began when people got the courage finally to pass around tracts discussing reality – that what was going on was horrific and wrong. That the Satanic, diabolical treatment of the Jews was NOT justified for any sick reason set forth, including whether the Jews were “righteous enough” to be treated with human decency!
Although, from a young age, and by the grace of God, I chose Jesus and purity, yet even if I had had a past that people would like to criticize – even if I knew there was “dirt” that somebody could “dig up” on me, I just wouldn’t care – because the Gospel says you’re forgiven (like, really forgiven) if you believe in Jesus Christ.
To really believe the Gospel means you no longer care if someone is able to “dig up dirt” on you.
One Baptist preacher I heard put it well: “God casts your sin into the depths of the sea, and puts up a sign that says, ‘No Fishing.'” Inevitably, though, people will “fish,” and you’ve got to keep believing the Gospel even when they “catch something on you.”
The Bible I read tells me it’s not a sin to be happy about Jesus. The Bible I read tells me that real Christians man up and do something about evil in the world! The Bible I read tells me that if Josh Duggar has experienced repentance through faith in the blood of Jesus, he should go right on doing the work of God however he feels called, and we Christians shouldn’t blink an eye over it. When you make salvation about works, people are going to get more and more entrenched in sin.
Do you really expect, in Obama’s America, when sex has been pushed down everyone’s throat every day for 6 1/2 years, that everyone has been perfectly circumspect? I’d say, if people are still wanting to hold on to Jesus after all the antichrist pressures of extreme Democrats in our country, then God bless them! Jesus started with where people were – He forgave even adulterers, remember? – and we should keep that in mind. The Gospel isn’t about sin and misery, it’s about a God who so loved us in our sin that He made a way for us to be forgiven. In that love that God shows, we naturally find ourselves hating sin, but the focus is on the remedy, not on reinforcing a problem.
The Gospel has a benevolent, gentle attitude towards people that begin with truth, not a “persecutorial” attitude. The Gospel is most fiery, not in crushing weak people who embrace truth, but in opposing religious bullies who perpetrate unreality as being reality.
I think if the church needs anything in these days, it needs encouragement. It needs a free Gospel. Church leaders today are often legalists – adding to the Gospel – by requiring Christians to deny the joy and blessing in their hearts and to “just shut up” about standing up for righteousness, in order to be a “good, true Christian.”
In churches I have visited, I see so little joy and enthusiasm, that for me to sing along a little heartily to the songs makes me stick out like a sore thumb. What in the world!? That’s not a way to make strangers feel comfortable, and it’s definitely not a way to attract new people to Jesus. It’s a good thing God clearly revealed Himself to me at my conversion, because otherwise I’d feel as embarrassed as a nervous toddler at most church services, just to do the things they expect of you, and I’d certainly never want to return to such places! No wonder the churches are emptying out!
So how do we as Christians make a difference in the world? By STANDING FOR TRUTH. By holding fast and saying, “Yes, as insane, as hated, as ridiculed as it may seem under the circumstances, I still believe in everything that is true.” And the thing that is most vilified today, true conservatism, is EXACTLY where we need to stand and fight. And we are HAPPY to fight for it with a smile, because when you stand for TRUTH, you get the supernatural joy that Jesus spoke of!
You are blessed when people hate you, when they exclude you, insult you, and slander your name as evil because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! Take note–your reward is great in heaven, for this is the way their ancestors used to treat the prophets. – Luke 6:22, HCSB
The text of this image is so true, and so applicable to the fight for truth in our day:
“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the Word of God EXCEPT precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Him. Where the battle rages THERE the loyalty of the soldier is proved; and to be steady on all the battle front besides is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point.” – Martin Luther
How do we make a difference? By demanding that the insanity in our churches stop. I mentioned that I was visiting churches. The reason is because a few months ago, an issue came up in the church I had been going to for years. I was asked by somewhat new leadership in the church not to give any public commendation of Ted Cruz. I was told I could commend him “in my heart,” but could not make it public. They literally said:
Just don’t say anything good about conservatives, and don’t say anything bad about the Democrat party.
They refined that ultimatum somewhat, but I was still required to not show any commendation for conservatives online. I could not agree to that in good conscience, so I was shocked to be booted from the church I had gone to for 14 years. Well, I am happy to die on that hill, defending the right to commend politicians if I see some good thing in them. And I did that only by the grace of God, but I do want to mention it, because I really believe it is a time for truth in our churches as well as in our nation. If we don’t stand up to insanity inside the church, if we just go along with it, we will never make a difference. Standing for truth is the answer for how to make a difference in the world.
Those church leaders that forbade speaking good of Ted Cruz also told me, “There’s no chance he can win.” Well, I certainly can’t predict the future, so I don’t know who will win, but I know if we don’t try, even if it is just to get in our prayer closets and pray for Cruz, then we certainly won’t win.
So, lighten up, play some games, enjoy life, laugh at the insanity, and don’t let it overcome you. We’re on the winning side at least in the grand scheme of things, and if the liberals kill you for your faith, let them kill you with a smile on your face, knowing you are heaven-bound, and knowing you fought their lies, and were happy in Jesus, to the bloody death.
All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart has a continual feast. – Proverbs 15:15, CKJV
Ray Comfort has an interesting note on this passage:
Laughter is the enemy of legalism. Liberty and joy go hand in hand.
Go proclaim liberty and joy in Jesus Christ, and God bless!
Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will lift up my hand to the nations, and raise my signal to the peoples; and they shall bring your sons in their arms, and your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders. 23 Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers. With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.” – Isaiah 49:22-23, ESV
In this passage of the Bible, it speaks of how Gentiles (non-Jews) would show so much respect for the people of God, that they would help carry Jews back to their land, and would “lick” the dust of their feet, because they had so much honor towards a people chosen by God.
A troubling poll I saw showed that, out of a poll of 600 Muslim-Americans who planned to vote in the elections, 43% did not believe peoples of other faiths (including Christian) should have the right to witness to them! The Wenzel Strategies poll (as far as I can tell, it appears to be accurate) asked specifically whether “…U.S. citizens have a right to evangelize Muslims to consider other faiths.” Nearly half don’t believe we have a right to even share our faith with them? Well, quite frankly, don’t come here if you can’t show a little more respect than that! If you found America to be a desirous place to come to, it’s the height of disrespect to try to tell us we don’t have the right to follow the very laws that made our country great.
Our nation is far from perfect, but if it was great enough to attract you, if you think God has somewhat blessed the land, then it’s insane to do anything other than what this passage from Isaiah 49:22-23 teaches by principle, which is to show great respect towards those people, and towards their faith.
I understand that there is a lot of religious pressure on you, to go along with Islam. It may be that your whole family, most of your peers, etc., follow it. But at some point, you have to choose whether you want to be a person of integrity, and it simply is pathetic to come to America, and answer a private poll that you’d like to see Americans imprisoned simply for bothering your time slightly to peacefully share their religion with you. Nonsense like this can’t be permitted. America is quite generous towards all religions, but we expect just a tiny bit of generosity in exchange. Don’t act like it’s a such a bother to you for someone to share their faith with you that you want them imprisoned. And if the only way you can do that and be consistent is to leave Islam, then you need to leave Islam. If your religion teaches such utter lack of integrity that you are required to act like a jerk towards the very country you came to enjoy, then that religion is devilish and you need to make your exit. Or, prove me wrong, and show me that Islam can show some respect. Either way is fine, as long as you understand that 0% should answer a poll the way that 43% just did. This isn’t about religion – it’s about common decency, respect, and sanity.
Additionally, Mexican immigrants to America should show some respect for the country. If I was going to a country that I admired, I would want to learn that language, and I would show respect towards the people of that country. For that matter, I’ve even tried to learn some Spanish just to try to be friendly to those coming here! Disdainful arrogance, and utter lack of interest in the country, is simply not right. Not all Mexican immigrants are like that, certainly, but it’s becoming all-too-more-the-common.
I’m not asking immigrants to lick the dust off of our feet, but with some of the attitudes that have been expressed by some, it might not be a bad change of events if they willingly chose to do so!
The central and blessed doctrine of Christianity is simple – that of Justification by Faith.
Why Is It Such a Great Doctrine?
Justification by faith is great because it means hope for lost sinners. It means the possibility of instantaneous forgiveness and right-standing with God. It means the proximity of the Kingdom of God. It means that you can know Jesus. It means that you can experience the blessedness of serving Him. God is not a far-off thing, but can fill your soul in a moment of time!
On the contrary, what does it say? The message is near you, in your mouth and in your heart.This is the message of faith that we proclaim: 9 If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 One believes with the heart, resulting in righteousness, and one confesses with the mouth, resulting in salvation. – Romans 10:8-10, HCSB
Justification by faith is what I would call a sinner’s “nuclear option” – there are a lot of religious folks who will be glad to shut you up and say “there, there” concerning you if you become a Christian. There are people ready to point to your past; there are people that will point to your present; and there are naysayers that would take away your future. But this doctrine places in your hand a weapon more powerful than all of that combined! It’s the antidote for church hypocrisy, discouragement, and frustrated seeking of truth. Because if you’re willing to believe this Gospel, that faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection is sufficient to save you, you can endure the whole onslaught of false religion (and there’s a lot of that out there!). You can rise above it all to walk with God!
Why Do People Need to Be Justified?
We are all born into the world with a sinful nature inherited from the first man and woman God created – Adam and Eve. Theologians have deduced that we would have all chosen to rebel like they did, if given their opportunity; and anyway, we all prove ourselves to be sinners by being blind to God and doing things against Him that we may not have realized were wrong. When God justifies a person, they see that hate of their fellow man is wrong; they see that purity and respect matter; they see things in quite a new fashion.
For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. – Romans 10:3, KJV
Because God is so morally wonderful, He cannot have fellowship with those who are alienated from Him through their sins.
Your eyes are too pure to look on evil, and You cannot tolerate wrongdoing. – Habakkuk 1:13a, HCSB
People often scoff at the idea, but God’s moral beauty and perfection is so great that His abhorrence of sin calls for a place of eternal torment for those people who never believe His Gospel. It is not human anger or wrath, but a perfect righteous indignation that is morally right.
In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: – 2 Thessalonians 1:8, KJV
God’s love and benevolence is also so boundless that He made a way to reconcile people to Himself. Jesus, the Son of God, died on a cross. In doing so, somehow in the metaphysical dimension, and because Jesus is God, His suffering expiated the sins of the world. If you believe in Him as your Savior from sin and your God, you will recognize your sins, be forgiven, hate your sin, and love the new life He gives you!
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – Jesus, in John 3:16, KJV
A Few Deductions from This Doctrine
1. If Justification Is by Faith, It Is Necessarily Instantaneous
There are some that say you must be baptized, must speak in tongues, or must do some other thing to “complete” your salvation. Though they may be well-meaning, such ideas compromise the doctrine of Justification by Faith, and the very foundation of the Gospel. If salvation is a process, then it is certainly not faith, because believing something obviously happens in a moment of time. Such people were around in the time of the early church, and Paul, the first church leader or apostle, didn’t put up with it:
Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!” But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, the church arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. – Acts 15:1-2, HCSB
2. If Justification Is by Faith, It Is Not by Works
You can pile a list of things up from here to the moon that “aren’t enough” to get you to heaven, but always remember that one thing is enough – having believed in Jesus Christ as your Savior and God.
But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. – Romans 4:5, KJV
Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. – Galatians 5:4, KJV
Martin Luther led a religious revolution to restore this truth – be sure you fight just as hard for it! Paul even goes into a bit of poetic back-and-forth to make it plain to folks that grace (or faith) cannot be mingled with works:
And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. – Romans 11:6, KJV
3. Justification by Faith Naturally Leads to Dynamic Godliness
The kindness and love of a God who freely forgives sinners upon faith in Christ, and promises to keep them, is the best way to cultivate a closer walk with God. Godliness grows best (or only!) in the environment of grace, and it grows naturally.
What should we say then? Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained righteousness—namely the righteousness that comes from faith.But Israel, pursuing the law for righteousness, has not achieved the righteousness of the law.Why is that? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.As it is written:
Look! I am putting a stone in Zion to stumble over and a rock to trip over, yet the one who believes on Him will not be put to shame – Romans 9:30-33, HCSB
4. Justification by Faith Has Eternal Security As a Corollary
The idea that God would not keep you once He has saved you is incongruous with the doctrine of Justification by Faith. The whole point of Justification by Faith is that you are trusting God to save you. To completely save you! If you allow doubt in the keeping power of God, you have doubted the promise of God, a most heinous sin. And the thing is, you don’t really have any choice. If you choose to doubt that God will keep you, then you’re back into your own hands, to try to save yourself, and if you’re not sure how that will work out, take a look at Israel in the wilderness, where they were all overthrown because they did not believe in a good God. You will end up in spiritual ruin if you doubt the promise of God!
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. – Jesus, in John 5:24, KJV
Charles Spurgeon, the great English preacher, had this to say:
“I do not know how some people, who believe that a Christian can fall from grace, manage to be happy. It must be a very commendable thing in them to be able to get through a day without despair. If I did not believe the doctrine of the final perseverance of the saints, I think I should be of all men the most miserable, because I should lack any ground of comfort.”
I don’t know about you, but I’m absolutely outraged at the hatred, bigotry, and vitriolic intolerance shown by the left (and even the cowardice shown by many Republicans and Republican candidates for President [instance Carly Fiorina]) shown against Kim Davis! If we give up our first amendment, we have nothing in this country anymore. This is pathetic – that a woman who respectfully declines to do what Obama himself said he was against as recently as a few years ago, is arrested and put in jail. Absolute double-standard. This is just unacceptable. America needs to stand up and say so. Thank you, TED CRUZ, that you are actually defending the first amendment. You DESERVE to be President!
It would be hypocritical enough if Kim Davis was forced to quit her job (because Democrats pick and choose what they want to obey [instance amnesty, Constitution, etc.]); but to put her in jail in absolutely insufferable! Kim Davis is getting death threats, people are threatening to blow up her house – why? – because she won’t do what she believes is morally wrong. Wow, nothing says TOLERANCE like a death threat, huh? The gay couple might have to spend an extra few hours to go to some other courthouse, in order to do what has been illegal for centuries, and which extreme liberals finally managed to get shoved through the American legal system. But for Kim to be a #ConscientiousObjector means she has to lose her job AND be put in jail. Pah-thetic. Can you imagine the outcry if extreme conservatives passed a law outlawing sodomy, and a couple of gays were put in jail? That’s the kind of double-standard we’re talking about. Liberals cried “tolerance” to the point that gays are allowed to get married, yet they are not people of principle, because when America surrendered to them (or at least the high Court), they won’t extend the VERY SAME value IN THE SLIGHTEST to anyone else. It was all about a political objective, and NEVER about “love,” “kindness,” “tolerance,” or any other such thing.
I’m from Alabama. But I knew the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally hosted by Presidential candidate Ted Cruz was going to be a special event, so I decided to drive up to it! With my Prius getting some 45 mpg, I was able to do the 30-hr round trip for about $120 of gas! On Wednesday night before starting, I decided to “decorate” my car a bit, so drivers could see a bit of enthusiasm for Cruz.
Cruzin to the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally
Who Said a Prius Couldn't Cruz?
We Need a #CruzEconomy!
On Thursday morning, I set out from Auburn, AL, and drove to Springfield, IL, passing through Birmingham, Huntsville (AL), Nashville (TN), and Paducah (KY). I stayed the night in a hotel, and did the remaining drive Friday morning, arriving in Des Moines, IA about 2:00 PM. I had a few hours before the rally began, so I decided to walk around Des Moines. I found a Ginko tree (my favorite tree, because of the thick, waxy leaves), an awesome-looking pedestrian bridge across Des Moines River, a “Robert D Ray” Asian Gardens, and a very ornate Iowa state capitol building.
On the Way to Iowa!
Ginko Tree Close-Up!
Ginko Leaves Close-Up
American and Iowan Flags
Pedestrian Bridge Over Des Moines River
Iowa Women of Achievement Pedestrian Bridge
Close-Up of Des Moines Pedestrian Bridge
Water Churning Under Des Moines Pedestrian Bridge
Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Gardens at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Close-Up of Robert D Ray Asian Gardens Building
Marble Wall at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Unique Rocks at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Unique Spiral at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Paper Birch at Robert D Ray Asian Gardens
Iowa Workers' Monument
Iowa State Capitol Building
Interior of Iowa State Capitol
Looking Up Inside Central Dome Iowa State Capitol
Holy Bible with Iowa Darkened
Types of Gold Plating
The Iowa Capitol Building Dome is Plated with Gold
Brave Iowan Patriots Who Gave All to Defend Against Jihad
Looking Over Des Moines, IA
After visiting at the State Capitol building, I walked through a small Holocaust memorial in the park below. There were a number of challenging quotes, including this one from Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust survivor: “One person of integrity can make a difference.”
Helen Keller on Apathy
Martin Niemoller, Imprisoned German Pastor
Elie Wiesel, Holocaust Survivor
Since I arrived early, I was able to take some shots before lots of people arrived.
Schedule of the Rally
Iowa Events Center
Iowa Events Center
Looking Out at Des Moines
Community Choice Credit Union Convention Center
Hallway to Cruz Event
American Flag Backlight
Windmill Light Image
Preparations for the Rally
Going Up to the Rally
Main Room Seating
Closer to Stage
With my early arrival time, I was also privileged to sit two rows behind Steve Deace (and family), the “Iowa Kingmaker,” as he is called, for the role he often plays in supporting a conservative for the primaries.
The Bontrager Family Singers, a family from Eastern Iowa that sings and plays instruments, kicked the event off with an incredible start!
Bontrager Family from Eastern Iowa
Bontragers - Incredible Multitasking Talent!
Here’s a little taste of what the Bontragers can do!
Unfortunately, I didn’t think to get a picture, but Iowa Cruz campaign leader Bryan English spoke next. After that, Cruz spoke with Dick and Betty Odgaard, a Mennonite couple from Iowa that were driven out of business for refusing to host gay marriages in their church. Then, Steve Deace spoke with Aaron and Melissa Klein, Barronelle Stutzman, Blaine Adamson, Phillip Monk, and Kelvin Cochran, who were all similarly persecuted for their religious convictions concerning gay marriage.
Ted Cruz with Mennonites Dick and Betty Odgaard
Steve Deace with Aaron and Melissa Klein, Barronelle Stutzman, Blaine Adamson, Phillip Monk, and Kel
Ted Cruz with Naghmeh Abedini
Getting Ready to Pray!
Once the event was over, Newsboys “brought the house down” with some great worship!
That would have been a good enough event for most folks. But not for Ted Cruz. After all that, he came down and mingled with the event-goers for a good while, allowing them to meet him, take pictures, and get autographs! Can’t wait for Ted Cruz to get into the White House!! It would be incomprehensibly awesome!
My thoughts on the Iowa Religious Liberty Rally:
I was very moved by the rally. What was stressed from the beginning was that “their story is your story.” In other words, these are not freak cases – this is persecution that just as well could have come your way. And it’s not right. We need to speak up for other people, or we can’t complain when no one speaks up for us.
Melissa Klein shared how many people would come in and want to “support” her by buying something, but would ask not to have the “Sweet Cakes” sticker put on their purchase, because they didn’t want to associate with her (they didn’t want the “stigma”). Melissa recounted that that was the most hurtful of all the events. Steve Deace echoed those thoughts by saying (paraphrase), “Look, if you’re embarrassed, it would be better not to buy anything. It’s less hurtful for someone to be openly hateful than to show ‘halfway support’ in tough times.” Wow, those are words of truth!
It was also a privilege hearing Naghmeh Abedini speak, wife of Saeed, an American and Christian who has been tortured in Iranian prisons for three years now for the “crime” of sharing the Gospel. Ted Cruz had a Ronald Reagan “tear down this wall” moment, when he got quiet and serious, and said, “I’d like to say something very, very clearly. President Obama, bring Pastor Saeed home!”