Corvette Turns 63 Today

On June 30, 1953, the first production Corvette was built at the General Motors facility in Flint, Michigan. Harley J. Earl, the man behind the Corvette, got his start in his father’s business, Earl Automobile Works, designing custom auto bodies for Hollywood movie stars such as Fatty Arbuckle. Earl introduced the latest “dream car,” the Corvette, as part of GM’s traveling Motorama display at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.

The sleek Corvette, the first all-fiberglass-bodied American sports car, was an instant hit. It went into production the following June in Flint; three hundred models were built that year. All 1953 Corvettes were white convertibles with red interiors and black canvas tops. Underneath its sleek exterior, however, the Corvette was outfitted with parts standard to other GM automobiles, including a Blue Flame six-cylinder engine, two-speed Powerglide automatic transmission, and the drum brakes from Chevrolet’s regular car line.

I remember our family vacations in the 1970s. My dad, a loyal Ford man, would see a Corvette going down the highway, and always comment, “It’s just a Chevrolet.” Call it what you want – the Corvette remains the most iconic American sports car in history.

What we call something matters less than what is behind the label and under the hood. Perhaps people call you a Christian, a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ. But what would they see if they could look under your hood?

The Rushmore Report: The Amazing Thomas Jefferson

In light of the July Fourth Weekend, this is a good time to reflect on the life of a founding father. Thomas Jefferson was a remarkable man who started learning very early in life and never stopped. At age five, he began studying under his cousin’s tutor. At nine, he studied Latin, Greek, and French. At 14, he studied classical literature and additional languages.

At 16, he entered the College of William and Mary. He could write in Greek with one hand while writing the same thing in Latin with the other. At 19, he studied law for five years, starting under George Wythe. At 23, he started his own law practice.

At 25, he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses. At 31, he wrote the widely circulated “Summary View of the Rights of British America” and retired from his law practice.

At 32, he was a delegate to the Second Continental Congress. The next year, he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Then he took three years to revise Virginia’s legal code and wrote a Public Education bill and a statute for religious freedom.

At 36, he was elected the second Governor of Virginia, succeeding Patrick Henry. Starting at age 40, he served in Congress for two years. At 41, he was the American minister to France, where he negotiated commercial treaties with European nations along with Ben Franklin and John Adams.

At 46, he served as the first Secretary of State under George Washington. At 53, he served as Vice President and was elected president of the American Philosophical Society.

At 55, he drafted the Kentucky Resolution. At 57, he was elected the third president of the United States. At 60, he obtained the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the nation’s size. At 61, he was elected to a second term as President. At 65, he retired to Monticello.

At 80, he helped President James Monroe shape the Monroe Doctrine. At 81, he almost single-handedly created the University of Virginia and served as its first president. At 83, he died on the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the same day John Adams died.

John F. Kennedy once hosted a White House dinner for a group of the brightest minds in the nation. He said, “This is perhaps the assembly of the most intelligence ever to gather at one time in the White House with the exception of the time Thomas Jefferson dined alone.”

With that said, consider some of the brilliance of Thomas Jefferson . . .

1. “When we get piled upon one another in large cities, as in Europe, we shall become as corrupt as Europe.”

2. “The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.”

3. “It is incumbent upon every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.”

4. “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

5. “My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.”

6. “No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms.”

7. “The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.”

8. “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

9. “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical.”

10. “I believe banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.”

Mr. Jefferson, where are you when we need you most?

The Rushmore Report: This Formula Has Predicted Every Election Since 1984

Dr. Allan Lichtman has correctly predicted every presidential election of the last 32 years. And he does it months in advance. The distinguished professor of history at American University has been right eight elections in a row. And he doesn’t use polling, demographics, or sophisticated analyses.

So how does he do it and what does the formula say for 2016? Lichtman makes his predictions on the basis of 13 true/false statements that determine the outcome every time. Here’s how it works. If more than half the statements are true, the incumbent party wins the White House; if more than half are false, the opposing party wins. The data is in. The winner of the 2016 election will be . . .

Let’s look at each statement and rate them true/false, thus determining the 2016 presidential winner.

1. Party mandate: After the midterm elections, the incumbent picked up seats in the most recent midterm elections. (False)

2. Contest: There is no serious contest for the incumbent party nomination. (True)

3. Incumbency: The incumbent party candidate is the sitting president. (False)

4. Third party: There is no significant third party or independent campaign. (True)

5. Short-term economy: The economy is not in recession during the election campaign. (True)

6. Long-term economy: Real per-capita economic growth during the term equals or exceeds mean growth during the previous two terms. (False)

7. Policy change: The incumbent administration effects major changes in national policy. (True)

8. Social unrest: There is no sustained social unrest during the term. (False)

9. Scandal: The incumbent administration is untainted by scandal. (False)

10. Foreign/military failure: The incumbent administration suffers no major failure in foreign or military affairs. (False)

11. Foreign/military success: The incumbent administration achieves a major success in foreign or military affairs. (True)

12. Incumbent charisma: The incumbent party candidate is charismatic or a national hero. (False)

13. Challenger charisma: The challenging party candidate is not charismatic or a national hero. (False)

So how does this all stack up? Though two or three of the statements are open for some debate – not much debate – the formula points toward a fairly clear winner. Here’s the score.

True – 5

False – 8

According to this formula, Donald Trump will win. Admittedly, this is a different kind of election, as Trump is a different kind of candidate. But the formula correctly predicted the following winners: Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and Obama. Will it be right again? Donald J. Trump certainly hopes so.

The Rushmore Report: Four Keys to Raising Godly Kids

The National Study of Youth and Religion recently released the results of an important research project. It represents one of the most ambitious and comprehensive studies of U.S. youth ever undertaken. What emerged were four distinctive consistencies that predict teen behavior – before it’s too late.

1. Role models – Parents are still the single most influential factor in a child’s spiritual development. The Lord gives moms and dads unique opportunities to teach their children about godly living. Through their parents’ lifestyle and instruction, kids can discover that they are personally accountable to God. Because some parents cannot give what they do not have, others can sometimes step into the gap and make a difference.

2. Influencers – The old African proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child” is actually true. Other adults in a child’s extended family, church, and school are influential. The support, advice, love, and help they offer are important ingredients in a child’s faith development. The more godly adults children have in their lives, the more likely it will be that they become devoted Christ-followers.

3. Prayer. Andrew Murray wrote, “Time spent in prayer will yield more than that given to work. Prayer alone gives work its worth and success. Prayer opens the way for God, himself, to do his work in us and through us. Let our chief work as God’s messengers be intercession; in it we secure the presence and power of God to go with us.” Prayer is paramount in kids’ lives. The more they pray and see prayer modeled at home and church, the more they become connected and committed to God.

4. God’s Word. The poem spells it out: “Children learn what they live.” We do that which we believe is most important. If we believe that God reveals himself in his Word, then the Bible should be central in our lives at home and in church. Kids will recognize the value and priority of the Bible as they see us read, meditate, and study his Word. We can help children develop a passion for God as we develop and model a passion for his Word.

Obviously, these four key elements are not new, but they do serve as reminders that the basics of our faith are unchanging and vitally important. The average parent has spent half of his life’s time with his child when they are just ten years old. We need to make a difference – while we can.

The Rushmore Report: Election Will Come Down to This Group

New polls say that Hillary Clinton is still leading Donald Trump, by anywhere from five to 12 points. Clinton seems to be gaining ground she lost to Donald Trump after the Orlando terror assault. But forget about the polls. One group – and only one group – will decide this election. And they make up 20 percent of the vote.

Who is this 20 percent? The are the voters who still say they are either undecided or can see themselves switching their vote in the final months leading up to the election in November.

A full 20.1 percent of the electorate says they’d prefer to vote for a candidate not named Clinton or Trump.

Meanwhile, Trump, while playing golf in Scotland, carried on a rolling press conference as he played, telling reporters that he was working on his list of vice-presidential candidates during the trip. “It’s coming along,” he said. “I have a lot of people that want it. I’m getting calls from a lot of people, and they want it.”

In subsequent interviews, Trump has downplayed the financial crash that followed the Brexit vote in England. “This shouldn’t even affect U.S. markets. If done properly, if we had proper leadership.”

Meanwhile, Clinton is firming up her vote, as well. She is courting the Hollywood crowd and Democratic insiders, while going strong after Bernie Sanders’ votes. She is also working on her list of potential vice-presidents.

Each side will shore up their vote. And the polls will vacillate. But the crowd to watch – and they are the hardest to measure – is the 20 percent who really don’t want Clinton or Trump. At the end, they will vote for someone. At this point, it is not clear who that “someone” will be.

About the Author

Mary Kay Linge is a political writer for the New York Post. She also blogs on current events and world leaders.

The Rushmore Report: Why George Will Left the Republican Party

George Will is no longer a Republican. The famed conservative columnist and commentator has left the party he joined in 1964. Why? In his own words – “I left the party for the same reason I joined it in 1964 when I voted for Barry Goldwater. I joined the party because I was a conservative. I leave it for the same reason – I am a conservative.”

Will chalked up his departure to the ascension of Donald Trump as the party’s presidential nominee.

“To give you a time line, shortly after Trump became the presumptive nominee, he had a summit meeting with Paul Ryan where they stressed their common principles and their vast shared ground, which is much more important than their differences. I thought that was puzzling doubly so because Paul Ryan still didn’t endorse him,” Will told Fox News.

“After Trump went after the Mexican judge from northern Indiana, then Paul Ryan endorsed him. And I decided that, in fact, this is not my party anymore.”

Trump retaliated by attacking Will on Twitter. “George Will, one of the most overrated political pundits (who lost his way long ago), has left the Republican Party. He’s made many bad calls,” said Trump.

When asked to respond, Will said, “I have no response. Mr. Trump has the gift of being able to say everything he knows in a short tweet. I don’t share that gift.”

Will explained the process. “I changed my registration to unaffiliated 23 days ago. I hardly made an announcement. I just mentioned this in a meeting with the Federalist Society.” He then invoked Ronald Reagan, who was a Democrat before joining the GOP. “So the long and short of it is, as Ronald Reagan said when he changed his party registration, I did not leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me.”

The Rushmore Report: Is Donald Trump a Christian?

James Dobson, the founder of the renown Colorado-based organization Focus on the Family, asserted last week after gathering with nearly 1,000 evangelical leaders to listen to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that he believes Trump is a “baby Christian” who needs to be “cut some slack.”

Dobson was interviewed by Michael Anthony of GodFactor.com, who likewise attended the event held at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. Dobson characterized the gathering as “historic” among Christians, and shared his belief that Trump is himself a Christian.

“There are a lot of people ministering to him personally – a lot of ministers,” he stated in the recorded interview. “I mean, he did accept a relationship with Christ. I know the person who led him to Christ, and that’s fairly recent. I don’t know when it was, but it has not been long.”

Dobson continued. “I believe he really made a commitment, but he’s a baby Christian. We all need to be praying for him, especially if there is a possibility of him being our next chief executive officer.”

He said that he believes Trump is open to hearing about the things of God, but that he doesn’t really understand Christianity at the present. “He doesn’t know our language. We had 40 Christians together with him and he used the word ‘hell’ four or five times. He doesn’t know our language. He really doesn’t. He refers a lot to religion and not much to faith in Christ. But you have to cut him some slack. He didn’t grow up like we did.”

Some have expressed concern over Dobson’s assertion, noting that when one is truly born again, although still needing sanctification, they will show definite signs of repentance and change.

“Those who are new Christians will often make mistakes, but I don’t know a single person who truly received Christ and the filling of the Holy Spirit, who didn’t show some immediate change, even if small,” writes Susan Wright for RedState.

She pointed to 1 John 1:6 and 1 John 3:9, the first of which reads, “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth.”  She said she hasn’t seen any fruit of conversion with Trump.

“So what are our signs that Donald Trump has had a true conversion experience? Has he gone to all those he’s attacked on the campaign trail and apologized for the slander? Will he settle the fraud case hanging over his head? Will he stop dropping the ‘f-bomb’ at rallies, encouraging violence against protesters, or making so much about how much money he has?”

Write continued, “It is damaging to the cause of Christ when the watching world observes Christians pronounce someone as saved when they have not truly been regenerated.”

Speaking of Dobson’s pronouncements about Trump, Write says, “I cannot overstate the danger of Trump’s position now, with those who are known leaders in the faith community, such as Dr. Dobson, willing to vouch for his relationship with God, when there has been no outward evidence of such. The world that is watching and hearing that he is Christian will judge Christianity by what he does and our faith leaders will be seen as promoting it.”

About the Author

Heather Clark is a writer and motivational speaker based in Dallas, Texas. She is a frequent contributor to the Christian News Network.

The Rushmore Report: Is USA a Christian Nation? Most Say No

The United States is no longer a Christian nation, if it ever was, according to a new survey. A joint, nonpartisan survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute and Brookings Institute just published results showing that by 42-41 percent, Americans no longer believer the U.S. is a Christian nation.

The survey polled over 2,600 Americans from April 4 to May 2, 2016, exploring their perspectives on issues ranging from immigration, the intersection of religion and public life, and how those attitudes are shaping the 2016 election.

A notable finding was the uptick in the number of white evangelicals who said they now believe that America is not a Christian nation – an 11-point increase from 48 percent in 2012 to 59 percent now.

The research also shows that political party affiliation provides a stark snapshot as to how Americans think about this issue. Only five percent of Republicans say the U.S. has never been a Christian nation, compared to 22 percent of Democrats. And a majority (51 percent) of Republicans say America was once a Christian nation, but no longer is, compared to 36 percent of Democrats.

Last month, Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, posted a YouTube video arguing that the United States is not a Christian nation. As CP reported in May, Moore stated then that the idea that Americans are living in a Christian nation “is really a form of theological liberalism.”

“It assumes that a person or a nation can be a Christian apart from the regenerating work of the Holy Spirit, apart from new birth. That is contrary to the Gospel,” Moore had maintained.

Americans are also divided on whether anti-Christian discrimination has become as significant an issue in the U.S. as discrimination against other groups. Seventy-seven percent of white evangelicals, 54 percent of white mainline Protestants, 53 percent of white Catholics, 53 percent of black Protestants, and 50 percent of Hispanic Catholics believe that discrimination against Christians is as big a problem as discrimination of other groups in the U.S. About four out of five Americans with no religious identity (78 percent) and members of other non-Christian religions (77 percent) do not agree.

The survey also found that 57 percent of Americans say Islamic values are at odds with American values, with about 74 percent of white evangelical Protestants believing this.

About the Author

Brandon Showalter is first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ. He writes on evangelical issues and is a contributing writer for The Christian Post.

Detours

Drivers in colder regions of the country know that their states have just two seasons: winter and road construction. If you travel in these areas during the summer when road work is taking place, you’ll be convinced that the main route actually consists of a long detour with occasional stretches of the original highway. You know you’re in trouble when the detour has detours!

These side trips off the beaten path often leave motorists disoriented, and those of us who loathe asking for directions might arrive at a destination we never planned to reach. Detours test our confidence that we know where we’re headed. Detours get us off track. Sometimes we end up completely lost.

The apostle Paul advised the Galatian believers to ignore detours that false teachers wanted them to take. These “teachers” wrongly emphasized that while it was crucial to know Christ, God’s grace also required certain actions and qualifications. These included meeting specific Jewish requirements, like circumcision and other aspects of tradition. These false persuaders incorrectly taught that the only way to get to God involved a detour through Judaism.

Distressed over the wandering of the Galatian Christians, Paul urged them to ignore the detours and get back on the main trail. Rather bluntly, Paul observed, “You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth?” (Galatians 5:7). Paul knew from his own background that the law was like a maze. But God offers his followers a straight road of life in Christ. Trying to equate a relationship with God to keeping rules results in losing the way. Detours of any kind that try to add to Christ actually result in losing Christ.

Jesus left no doubt about the road that believers must travel. No detour can take us to the place where Jesus takes us. “I am the way,” he proclaimed. “No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

The End Is in Sight

The marathon runner crests the last hill and glimpses the finish line. His eyes widen while his frenzied heart beats even faster. His race is nearly done. So he shakes the sweat from his head, grunts as he accelerates and gives one last kick at the end – sprinting toward the finish line. What inspires such effort from someone so clearly fatiqued? How can he muster even more energy when his lungs already burn? The prize at the end of the race makes each ache and every pain worthwhile.

The apostle John, as a very old man, wrote the Book of Revelation. He certainly wasn’t up for running any marathons. Yet inwardly, his heart continued to race. Before him hung the finishing tape of his apocalypse, the entire Bible, the Christian faith, and history itself. Just across the finish line awaited the prize that made every pain he had endured worth it in the end. But what was the prize?

Revelation 21:4 gives us the answer. “There will be no more pain, death, tears, or sorrow.” There is for every Christ-follower an incredible prize on the other side of the finish line.

There is an organization called Upward Sports. I love what they do. Sponsoring three competitive sports – basketball, soccer, and cheering – they do two things that make them different. First, they share the Gospel of Christ with each participant. Second, they don’t keep score.

That’s fine for kids’ sports, I suppose. But God keeps score. We are all in the race of our lives. But only those who run with Christ will cross the finish line victoriously.