No Fear

The Bible says it 365 times, one for every day in the year: Fear not. There are three reasons for that. First, fear makes you frail. Doctors report that almost all chronic patients have one problem: fear. Second, fear makes you frantic. It will paralyze you into inactivity. The only thing worse than wrong action is inaction. Third, fear makes you foolish.

I heard about a high school football player who intercepted a pass. He ran down the sideline, toward the opponent’s end zone. Glancing back, he saw the shadow of someone chasing him. So he cut across the field, but when he glanced back, the shadow was still there. As he neared the end zone, he dove for the goal line, to avoid the tackle. What he didn’t know was that the shadow was his own. There were no players within 20 yards of him.

His fear made him look foolish before 5,000 fans. I know the feeling.

When I was in second grade, a bully tormented me every day, knocking me down and tearing up my homework. It was only when I finally stood up to her that my fears went away.

Don’t run from your fears. Confront them in the power of God. The old prophet said it like this. “Do do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you” (Isaiah 41:10).

Feeding the Dead

I have a friend who used to be a nutritionist at a hospital. Ashley’s job was to tell patients what to eat. One day, she walked into a room, ready to feed the patient. There was just one small problem. When Ashley approached the patient, she noticed that he was dead.

The man had died four hours earlier. Her assignment was to feed the man, but she made an executive decision. Ashley decided that it really wouldn’t be worth the trouble. Dead people don’t need food, they need life.

One day, an old man was wondering if his wife had a hearing problem. He was standing behind her while she was sitting in her chair. He asked her, “Honey, can you hear me?”

There was no response. He moved closer and repeated the question, “Honey, can you hear me?” When there was still no response, he asked her again.

His wife replied, “For the third time, yes!”

We all need to hear God’s voice. We all need to be spiritually fed. But unfortunately, some of us have had our ears clogged by the things of this world. Or worse yet, we are spiritually dead. We don’t need food; we need a resurrection.

 

The Rushmore Report – Who Leads Dem Race for 2020? (It’s Not Bernie Sanders)

A new 2020 Democratic primary poll was just released. The Suffolk University poll of Democratic primary voters registered support for those most expected to enter the next presidential race. Hillary Clinton was not one of the eight options on the ballot. Those names were, in alphabetical order: Booker, Biden, Gillibrand, Harris, McAuliffe, Patrick, Sanders, and Warren. The winner? It’s not who you think.

No, Bernie Sanders is not in the lead. Nor is he second.

Here are the leading candidates in order of preference:

1. Elizabeth Warren – 26%

2. Joe Biden – 20%

3. Bernie Sanders – 13%

4. Corey Booker – 8%

5. Kamala Harris – 4%

6. Deval Patrick – 4%

7. Kristen Gillibrand – 2%

8. Terry McAuliffe – 2%

This poll is not good news for Bernie Sanders, who enjoys enormous name recognition and almost beat Hillary Clinton just two years ago.

“Primary polls this far out are normally nothing more than a test of name recognition,” said Stu Rothenberg, a non-partisan political handicapper. Given his name recognition, one would expect Sanders to lead the pack, rather than garner the favor of just 13 percent of Democratic voters.

Why do Democrats prefer Senator Warren over Bernie Sanders? Rothenberg said, “Warren is a populist outsider who is critical of corporate insiders. She has the same message, but is a different messenger who is a little younger and, unlike Sanders, is actually a Democrat.”

The Rushmore Report – What the NFL Must Do Next

It took the NFL two years to figure out the whole kneeling for the national anthem thing. The owners have found a compromise that seems pleasing to both sides. Players who wish to protest the national anthem must do so from the locker room. All players on the sideline will stand, or their team will receive a 15-yard penalty. But now it’s time for the NFL to address a bigger problem.

Cheerleaders.

It’s been a long time since cheerleaders actually led cheers. Today’s cheerleaders have been reduced to sex objects for men who become too drunk to read the scoreboard. Then the ladies are asked to appear in public – where it only gets worse. Paid minimum wage, they are supposed to just be happy to have the gig.

But now – thankfully – some of the cheerleaders are speaking out.

They are going public with their complaints. As reported by The New York Times, “Performing at sporting events is only a small part of their job description. They are also required to fulfill what is often the unsavory side of the job – interacting with fans at games and other promotional events, where groping and sexual harassment are common.”

Cheerleaders told the newspaper that team officials with the NFL, as well as those associated with the NBA and NHL, are aware of the problem, but have done little or nothing to stop it. They should. Sexual harassment is immoral and illegal.

NFL owners have done well by banning protests during the national anthem. Now they have a bigger job to do. It’s time for them to stand up and take action to stop the harassment of their cheerleaders. And while they’re at it, they might consider giving the ladies a bump in pay. And unlike the national anthem fiasco, let’s hope it doesn’t take them two years to get this one right.

The Rushmore Report – The Reason Trump Will Never Be Impeached

Forget the Mueller investigation. Forget the saber rattling of the far left. Forget the 2018 midterm elections and the potential Democratic take-over of Congress. Forget all of that. President Trump will never be impeached. Why? Because impeachment is not a legal process, but a political one. And if we consider the resignation of Richard Nixon and the impeachment of Bill Clinton, we come to one very clear conclusion. President Trump will never be impeached – for one simple reason.

The economy.

Yes, you read that correctly. This truth is confirmed by the two modern efforts to impeach a president. In 1974, Nixon was forced to resign. In 1998, Clinton was impeached, but not removed from office. And he gained popularity after his impeachment.

The Case of Richard Nixon

Let’s start with President Nixon. In the months leading up to his landslide re-election in 1972, consumer confidence reached the highest level in years, at an astonishing 95.2 percent. Two years later, that number plummeted to 64.4 percent, and Nixon was driven from office. In the year preceding his resignation, the Dow dropped by 40 percent. Gas shortages and inflation were on the rise. America wasn’t happy. And soon, the president was gone, over a third-rate break-in to Democratic headquarters. History tells us that other presidents have done far worse – and gotten away with it.

The Case of Bill Clinton

When Clinton was re-elected in 1996, as with the early Nixon years, consumer confidence was sky high. The president was found guilty of perjury, a crime that cost him a major settlement and his license to practice law. But, stock prices increased by 28 percent in 1997 and 16 percent in 1998. The national optimism during Clinton’s tenure was boosted by an emerging tech industry that promised amazing breakthroughs. So he survived impeachment.

Conclusion

Had Nixon enjoyed the Clinton economy he might have survived. And had Clinton endured the Nixon economy, he might have been forced aside by leaders in his own party. On both counts, we will never know. But nothing drives national sentiment like the economy.

This is not to suggest Americans don’t care about corruption in politics or the toxicity of our dysfunctional political system. They would love to be led by honest politicians who put other people first. But in the real world, voters rarely have a clear choice between an angel and the devil. On the day that President Trump was elected, 64 percent said they did not believe he was honest and trustworthy. But Hillary Clinton was considered to be dishonest and untrustworthy by 61 percent.

Rather than holding out for a saintly candidate, voters are pragmatic; they go for the lesser of two evils. As a result, today’s economy is all the shield President Trump will need to survive the worst of storms which may be brewing on the horizon.

None of this is to suggest than anything coming out of the Mueller investigation will justify removing the president from office. What we are suggesting is that it won’t matter. Even the most corrupt politicians who have watch over a strong economy are more popular than the most honest leader, under whom the economy tanks.

Final Point

Need further proof that it’s the economy that matters? Somewhere in rural Georgia, you will find that proof. There is a 93-year-old Baptist Sunday School teacher who still helps to build houses for the poor, gives away most of his earnings to charity, and is considered one of the most honest men in American history. He was also the first president in 48 years to lose re-election after serving a four-year term. His name is Jimmy Carter.

Interest rates were at an all-time high. Inflation was through the roof. The economy was horrible. It didn’t matter that Carter was able to broker mid-east peace for the first time in a zillion years. It didn’t matter that America was not at war. As the economy sank, so did the president’s popularity.

To date, nothing has surfaced that warrants anything close to impeachment for President Trump. But again, it doesn’t matter. Just ask history. Just ask Nixon, Clinton, and Carter.

When running for president in 1992, Bill Clinton hired a folksy campaign strategist from Louisiana. His name was James Carville. Carville got Clinton elected off four simple words – repeated over and over.

“It’s the economy, stupid.”

What was true for Nixon, Clinton, and Carter is still true today. It’s the economy – nothing more and nothing less.

The Rushmore Report – The Confederate Gift to the Nation

Memorial Day began as a Confeder­ate holiday — Confederate! God save the mark! — only a year after the end of the great War Between the States. The ladies of Columbus, Georgia, went to the graveyard with broken hearts to decorate the graves of their husbands, sons and brothers who had died defending hearth and home from the depredations of old William Tecumseh Sherman on his infa­mous march from Atlanta to the sea.

“I can make the march,” Sherman said to Abraham Lincoln, “and I can make Georgia howl.” He would cut a path of fire, death and destruction so complete that “if a crow flies across Georgia it will have to carry its own rations.”

“The action of the ladies on this oc­casion,” said the Daily National Intelli­gencer in the nation’s capital, “in burying whatever animosities or ill feeling may have been engendered in the late war to­wards those who fought against them, is worthy of all praise and condemnation.”

The Cleveland Daily Leader agreed: “The act was as beautiful as it was unselfish, and it will be appreciated in the North.”

The ladies of Columbus decorated the graves with flags and flowers in remembrance of what love and sacrifice had wrought. They decorated the few Union graves among their dead with flowers, too. “They were cruel,” said one of the ladies of the Yankee invad­ers, “only to be true to their cause.” This simple act of generosity was quickly noted by several important newspapers in the North.

The New York Commercial Adver­tiser drew a lasting lesson: “Let this incident, touching and beautiful as it is, impart to our Washington authorities a lesson in conciliation.” Two years later, at the behest of Gen. John A. Logan, who was wounded at the battle of Fort Donelson in Tennessee and became the commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, a commemorative associa­tion of Union veterans, established the holiday as a federal remembrance.

To the irritation of some of his colleagues, he acknowledged the holiday’s origins. “It is not too late for the Union men of the nation to follow the example of the people of the South.”

And so Decoration Day became a day of remembrance and reconciliation across the land, later to be called Memorial Day, and still, particularly in the small towns of the South, a day of decorating graves of Confederate soldiers of the War Between the States with flowers and flags.

This year, as in many years before, my beloved sister Joan went to a country graveyard in Arkansas with a clutch of tiny flags, of both Union and Confeder­ate persuasion, to remember those who gave the last full measure of devotion in the service of God and country. She stooped with particular care to put a tiny banner of the Stars and Bars next to the headstone of Cpl. David J. Pruden, late of Cocke’s Regiment of an Arkansas army of the Confederacy.

The Union adoption of a Confederate holiday was particularly poignant, and unexpected, so soon after Appomattox. Men who had fought to the death for four miserable years put aside bitter remembrance to embrace each other as friends. Grant became friends with Lee, and Joe Johnston, as an old man, whose army had fought Sherman’s at Atlanta, stood for an hour in a cold rain to pay honor to the passing of Sherman’s funeral cortege, caught cold and then pneumonia and died four days later.

Such men would not understand the current fashion of contempt for old foes, the tearing down of monuments to bravery, courage and devotion to hearth and home. They wouldn’t know what to make of the Episcopal divines of the Washington National Cathedral who celebrated brotherhood not long ago by punching out tiny images of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson in a stained glass commemoration of their faith in the Christ.

Francis Miles Finch (1827-1907), a judge in Ithaca, New York, was moved by the gesture of the ladies of Georgia to write a poem that became famous in its day. “No more shall the war cry sever/Or the winding rivers be red/They banish out anger forever/When they laurel the graves of our dead/Under the sod and the dew/Waiting the Judg­ment Day/Love and tears for the Blue/ Tears and love for the Gray.”

About the Author

Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.

The Rushmore Report – Three Ways to Combat School Violence

Like many, I am deeply concerned about school violence. A massive shift has occurred. Talking, chewing gum and making noise were the top three public school problems in the early 1960s. Currently, rape, robbery and assault could lead the list. Education expert William Jeynes correlates the decline in public schools with the Supreme Court’s 1962 and 1963 decisions to remove Bible reading: “One can argue, and some have, that the decision by the Supreme Court – in a series of three decisions back in 1962 and 1963 – to remove Bible and prayer from our public schools, may be the most spiritually significant event in our nation’s history over the course of the last 55 years.”

That decision had enormous implications that will continue unless we make drastic changes. Granted, how can we promote prayer in schools when prayer in the church is at an all-time low?

Tighter guns laws have some merit as long as law-abiding citizens are not restricted. However, guns are not the problem – sin is the problem. Will we outlaw pipe fittings to prevent pipe bombs and cars to prevent road rage? Of course not. Cain killed Abel with a rock. The human heart is the problem.

1. Bring God back into the schools.

I remember a time when we weren’t embarrassed about God. Teachers and administrators would willingly share their faith. Now, evolution is taught as fact, and God is portrayed as a fairy tale – when in reality, evolution is a fairy tale and creation is a fact. In the same sense that this article did not write itself, we are not here by random chance. Kids need to know that they are made in the image of God and that their Creator loves them and will guide them if they turn to Him. Bringing God back into the schools will reverse everything from violence to bullying to depression.

Secular groups have been pushing their agenda far too long. “Separation of church and state” is their battle cry. The courts have misused the infamous “separation” phrase to ban religious activities, primarily those promoting Christian principles. Thomas Jefferson used the phrase in 1802 in a private letter written to the Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut. The Baptists feared that the government might try to regulate religious expression. They were assured that this would not happen. Ironically, we are seeing this today.

In other words, the people did not want the government imposing a national religion on the people. Jefferson wisely agreed with them. His statement was intended to protect religious expression by building a wall of separation between the church and the state; solidifying the fact that the federal government could not strike down religious freedoms. Ironically, the public school system was first introduced in the 1600s to teach kids the Bible. Scholars were born through Princeton and Yale. God was embraced, not replaced. America, wake up! We can unapologetically acknowledge the sovereign hand of God on our campuses. Acknowledgment is not establishment. I pray that local school districts don’t cave in to political correctness; difference makers should make a difference.

2. Allow hope onto the campus.

When I inquired recently if pastors could help students after a local school shooting, I was told that they have many trained secular psychologists who can help. In short, pastors aren’t allowed on campuses. Remember, “separation of church and state.” The irony is that those who can offer lasting hope are not allowed on campuses. Granted, I’m not talking about being aggressive and proselytizing unwilling students. My recommendation is that (after a thorough vetting process), certain Christians are allowed on campus as encouragers and change agents, building up those who are bullied and offering hope to the hopeless.

3. Bring God back into our homes.

As the family goes, so goes the nation. Violent video games and movies do nothing but foster violence. For example, in Grand Theft Auto, kids can have sex with a prostitute, take back the money, and set her on fire. Parents, for the love of God, wake up! Turn off the media and invest in your children.

Ironically, the missing element that few want to talk about is the fact that most shooters are taking psychotropic drugs to deal with emotional pain. Therein lies one of the main problems. Homes resemble a volcano ready to erupt rather than a loving, nurturing environment. And our media choices instill fear, violence, and sexual perversion. In short, we are reaping what we are sowing in our homes.

Parents should be the spiritual leaders in our homes; our absence has caused an epidemic. The majority of youth suicides, runaways, rapists, and high school dropouts are from fatherless homes. Also remember, we don’t have to leave home to be absent; we can check out mentally, emotionally, and spiritually and lead our family astray. If we fail to train our children, society will do it for us.

Many who have been interviewed after a suicide attempt talk about feelings of hopelessness and helplessness. They see no way out. By bringing God back into our homes and schools, we can impact the next generation at a very deep level. Parents must repent of their apathy and turn completely to God to be changed from the inside out, which, in turn, will change the atmosphere of our homes, schools, and country.

We are witnessing the tragic results of people dying spiritually. We must point people to the true source of healing, or violence will only escalate. Xanax, OxyContin, and Vicodin will never replace repentance, renewal, and restoration through Jesus Christ. We have sown to the wind and are reaping the whirlwind. In addition to violence increasing, SAT scores have sunk to the lowest level since the college admission test was overhauled in 2005. Unless the Lord builds the house, he who labors, labors in vain. Unless the Lord builds the school, he who labors, labors in vain.

About the Author

Shane Idleman is a contributor to ChristianHeadlines.com.

Standing Watch

“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me” (Ezekiel 33:7).

A lot of people assume that part of being a real man is handling life on our own. This distorted view of independence makes sense when we look at Hollywood’s examples of manhood. We see Rambo, armed only with his hunting knife and M60 machine gun. We see Jason Bourne with his spy-bred wit and martial arts expertise.

Using a military metaphor, the prophet Ezekiel points out the errors in thinking this way. He reminds us that we face a true spiritual battle and that – whether or not we admit it – we need help on the battlefield. And just as God places Ezekiel on guard to stand over Israel, we also need friends who care about us to stand watch in our lives.

Leadership guru Stephen Covey says, “Accountability breeds responsibility.” We were never intended to live the Christian life in isolation. We are part of a bigger family and a bigger picture. We need accountability. Someone needs to man the watch tower for us. They need to have our back. Who has your back today?

“Paul Is Dead!”

Talk about your crazy rumors! If you are over 55 years old, you remember one of the great urban legends of all time. “Paul is dead!” I don’t even need to explain that to you. You know exactly what I’m talking about. In the late 1960s American college students published articles claiming that clues to Paul McCartney’s death could be found among the lyrics and artwork of the Beatles’ recent recordings. He was killed in a car crash, according to the rumors circulated in London.

The Drake University student newspaper published an article titled, Is Beatle Paul McCartney Dead? It was said that Beatles music played backwards confirmed his death. Famed lawyer F. Lee Bailey took to the air with a one-hour television special, in which he promoted the “evidence” of McCartney’s death. The rumors continued to spread. Then, on this date, 1969, something happened that pretty much debunked the rumors. On April 24, 1969 Paul McCartney did a live interview, in which he insisted he was very much alive, though he had chosen to “be a little less famous these days.” There. The rumor was finally put to rest, once and for all.

Well, not so quick, Sherlock. In just a matter of a few weeks, the rumors returned. On October 21, 1969, the Beatles’ press office issued a statement attesting to McCartney’s good health. The November, 1969 issue of Life Magazine plastered Paul’s picture on the cover, with the words, “Paul is still with us.” But still, some did not believe. Does this story sound familiar to anyone but me? It should. You see, a couple thousand years ago, Jesus of Nazareth was put to death. Most assumed he’d stay dead. But, right on cue, he rose the third day. He appeared before Mary Magdalene and another woman named Mary. Then he appeared to Peter and John, then the rest of the disciples. One day he appeared to 500 at one time. But still, the rumors persisted. Jesus was dead. Well, I can put those rumors to rest once and for all. I know he is alive. How do I know? It’s simple. I was just talking to him this morning.

Swallowing Goldfish

Though most fads seem to spring up from nowhere, the art of goldfish swallowing can be traced to one individual and one specific date. On March 3, 1939, Harvard student Lothrop Withington, Jr. swallowed a live fish to win a $10 bet. Days later, not to be outdone, a college student in Pennsylvania downed three fish seasoned with salt and pepper. When a fellow classmate upped the ante to six goldfish, the gauntlet had been thrown down and the fad spread like wildfire on campuses across the country. Before the goldfish craze faded a few months later, thousands of goldfish had met their collective demise and even coeds had taken up the challenge.

Now, I love seafood as much as anyone. I love shrimp, catfish, scallops, trout, oysters, and crabmeat. I even like the “fish” they sell out of the chain restaurant named after a pirate. But I draw the line at goldfish. But Lothrop was like a lot of us. He was willing to swallow anything, whether it was good for him or not. We are told that we are winning the war with ISIS and the war on poverty. We are told that more money equals better schools. We are told that gay marriage is a matter for the federal government, despite what it says in the Bill of Rights. We are told that electing the right President will solve all our problems. We are told that global warming isn’t real, while others tell us global warming is our greatest threat. But many are swallowing more important myths. Happiness is about what happens to us, rather than what happens in us. You can work your way into heaven. There are certain things you can do to make God love you more. There are certain things you can do to make God love you less. If a couple lives together first, their marriage will be better. Children don’t need a dad at home. All roads lead to heaven. Though the stuff you have now doesn’t make you happy, having more of it will.

An old friend of mine from Gainesville, Texas said something I have never forgotten. Johnny Leftwich often said, “If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.” There are times we need to take a stand. We need to investigate, then embrace the truth. I am not a believer because I was raised that way. I am a believer because that is where my pursuit for truth led me. I believe in the three pillars of The Proud Americans: God, family, and country. There is a lot of “stuff” being propagated in today’s world. That doesn’t mean you have to swallow everything that comes along. Stick to goldfish.