The First Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! They started saying that in these parts back in 1621, with the first Thanksgiving celebration at Plymouth in modern-day Massachusetts. They had quite a feast that day, bringing the Pilgrims and Puritans together. The 1619 arrival of 38 English settlers at Berkeley Hundred in Charles City County, Virginia, precipitated the Plymouth event. The group’s charter from the London Company required “that the day of our ships’ arrival at the place assigned, in the land of Virginia shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of thanksgiving to Almighty God.”

The day of national thanksgiving was later sealed by the U.S. Congress as set apart on the fourth Thursday of November each year. The original word for “Thanksgiving” actually means the malls open at midnight for Christmas sales.

Perhaps you are celebrating Thanksgiving today with turkey and dressing. Maybe family is involved. If you are a true American, football will be on TV for at least 23 hours today.

Why do we celebrate Thanksgiving? I suggest the reason is far greater than because it is a national holiday. We offer thanks because we have much for which to be thankful. The Apostle Paul said it best – “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God” (1 Thessalonians 5:18). Start today. Start right now. Pause and give Him thanks.

He Died Today

On this day in 1963, we lost a president to an assassin’s bullet. But we lost another great man that same day. His name was Clive Staples.

Clive was the most brilliant man of his day. He published nine best-selling books. In his honor stands a statue in the Church of England. He was a published poet, knew ancient Greek, and was a student of Irish mythology. He cherished his faith, along with his brother, who died young.

For those of you over 60, you probably remember where you were the day Clive died, because John Kennedy died the same day. It may have been Clive who had the greatest impact on his world, not Kennedy. The great theologian, philosopher, and writer still lives through his books, which are required reading in colleges and seminaries to this day.

Is it even necessary to give his full name? Surely you are familiar with Clive Staples. If not, I’ll throw in his last name – Lewis. C. S. Lewis – one of God’s giants.

The Rushmore Report: Sen. Al Franken Should Resign Immediately

Those popping sounds you hear aren’t light bulbs breaking as they hit the frozen surface of Lake Wobegon. Instead, that sound comes  from political heads exploding in the Democratic Media Complex. Because liberal Democratic Sen. Al Franken of Minnesota was exposed, completely, for what he really is by West Coast radio news anchor Leeann Tweeden. What does this mean for Franken’s future?

There’s that photo of Franken smiling and grabbing at her breasts as Tweeden, a former model, slept on the way home from a USO tour in 2006. Franken leered and posed, fingers spread on her, like some cartoon of a sex-crazed sixth grade boy.

“You knew exactly what you were doing,” Tweeden wrote in an online post. “You forcibly kissed me without my consent, grabbed my breasts while I was sleeping, and had someone take a photo of you doing it, knowing I would see it later, and be ashamed.”

And just like that, the Democratic strategy to politicize sexual abuse and use it to beat Republicans to death at the polls must undergo a drastic rewrite.

So what do they do? Do they demand that Franken resign?

Franken and Democratic and Republican leaders want to send all this to the Senate Ethics Committee for an investigation. But there it will be lost in dusty vaults away from public scrutiny.

We already know what happened. An ethics committee investigation won’t tell us what happened. The only question is: What are Democrats going to do about it?

Franken apologized, says he’s sorry, says he respects women. But if he truly means it, there’s one thing for him to do: Resign immediately, disappear out into the woods.

It’s exactly what I recommended for the repugnant Alabama Republican senatorial candidate Roy Moore: Take a long walk in the woods and disappear.

Republican senators want Moore to drop out of the race. But will Democrats demand en masse that Franken resign? No. They’ll want to study this, and spin it somehow, and mitigate differences between Franken and Moore, the former a simple creep, the latter accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl. But all that is just playing for time.

And what will the media half of the Democratic Media Complex do?

Years ago many of them, particularly liberal pundits in Washington and New York, defended President Bill Clinton’s alleged assaults on women and dismissed allegations that he raped Juanita Broaddrick.

Leading feminists and liberal men trashed Clinton’s female accusers, because Clinton was their guy and he promised them what they wanted.

And what did a few women from Arkansas matter to the elite feminists of Washington and New York and Chicago and L.A. who were willing to forgive Clinton in exchange for a prize?

After all, Clinton was president. He promised he’d protect abortion. And they got what they wanted.

In recent days, though, as many on the left and right peeled (and rightfully so) the skin off creepy Roy Moore, an amazing thing has happened.

Pundits on the left began to wring their hands and confess their guilt about what they did to Clinton’s accusers.

It all rings hollow, of course, but there’s a good reason that it rings hollow.

It is hollow.

But without the icy tears of calculated contrition, they couldn’t proceed on the Democratic action plan.

Now the Franken explosion complicates that strategy, which only a few days ago was quite clear: Hound Moore as a monster, cast Republicans as either abusers of women or supporters of sexual abuse, and shame them, shame them, shame them.

And forge all of it into another Year of the Woman campaign to be used ultimately against President Donald Trump, whose history with women is ugly and boorish at best.

But now, that strategy – smelting gender identity politics with the real pain women have suffered at the hands of men – has been undercut.

And anything less than Franken’s departure from the Senate will be seen as just more political hypocrisy.

Tweeden, now news anchor on “McIntyire in the Morning” on KABC-AM in Los Angeles, posted her account and then talked at length about it.

She detailed Franken’s behavior, his grabbing and groping and aggressive kiss – actually more than just a “kiss,” during a USO tour before he was elected to the Senate, before he was a champion of women.

“Franken came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and . . . [we won’t recount the exact words here],” Tweeden wrote. “I walked away. All I could think about was getting to a bathroom as fast as possible. I felt disgusted and violated.”

Other women might come forward, accusing both Republicans and Democrats. Let it all come out. All of it.

This is what happens when the levee breaks.

And Franken, a comedian by trade, must realize that with the photo out there, with another accuser, it just might be time for him to exit stage left.

I can see him walking alone along the frozen banks of Lake Wobegon, laughing at his own jokes.

About the Author

John Kass is a writer for the Chicago Tribune.

The Rushmore Report: 60 Percent Disapprove of NFL Handling of National Anthem Protests

The National Football League has been a public relations nightmare this season. The national anthem protests have turned off fans, and the league’s management has twisted itself into a pretzel trying to toe a middle line. It’s only made them look worse. It all began when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick decided to stand and then kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner last year.

This year, more players have taken a knee after President Trump slammed the NFL at a political rally in September; the president views this as disrespectful. He’s not alone. The vast majority of Americans viewed Kaepernick’s antics as unpatriotic. The ratings are down for the league. NFL merchandise sales have plummeted almost 20 percent.

Now, a new Harris poll shows that 60 percent of voters do not approve of how NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has handled the matter, with another 77 percent saying that players should stand for the anthem; 59 percent felt that standing for the anthem should be compulsory.

The survey comes at a sensitive time for Goodell, who is in the process of renegotiating a new contract. That process has become complicated by reports that Goodell is seeking $50 million a year and lifetime use of a private jet, although the NFL has disputed those reports. Goodell makes about $30 million a year presently.

On Veteran’s Day weekend, the slate of games had NFL members wearing camouflaged gear to honor our troops, though they have spat in their faces all year – at least that is how 60 percent of viewers have been seeing it. The Left thought that Trump had picked a culture battle he couldn’t win. It turns out that Trump won before even a shot was fired.

About the Author

Matt Vespa writes for Townhall.

The Rushmore Report: ‘God and Donald Trump’ Author Speaks Out

Evangelicals and others should give President Donald Trump a chance, especially given his warm reception of evangelical Christians, says the author of a new book examining the spiritual side of the controversial commander-in-chief. Charisma Media founder and CEO Stephen E. Strang, whose book God and Donald Trump was released last week, told The Christian Post we should “give Trump a chance.”

“There’s some people that just, they’re against every single thing he does or says. He says that today’s Monday, they say ‘no he’s lying because it’s Tuesday in Australia,'” said Strang.

“I would hope that people would stand back, look at what’s happening with the economy, look at what’s happening internationally.”

Strang told CP that he believed Trump “has the makings to be a great leader” and “a great president,” then added the caveat that he still has to “definitely grow into the job.”

“But I believe that God raises up people in times of crisis and I believe our country is at a time of crisis,” said Strang, who believed that Trump seemed fit for the job due to his apparent ability to be unphased by the “onslaught” of criticism he gets.

An Unexpected Candidate

In his book, Strang noted the gradual rising support for Trump among evangelical leaders, telling CP that during the Republican primary he had originally endorsed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.

“I supported Cruz up until the day he dropped out,” explained Strang, noting that once Sen. Cruz dropped out he “immediately endorsed Trump.”

“I was not a Trump supporter to start with. My image of him was, you know, what I picked up in the media. I rather expected, as a lot of evangelical leaders did, that his campaign would implode at some point.”

Strang said that his support for Trump came in part because “some Christian leaders that I respected were meeting with him, they were praying with him.”

A Flawed Yet Changing President

Despite the eventual support for Trump, Strang explained at various points in his book that the thrice-married casino owner was not the ideal candidate for many evangelicals, himself included.

“But the more I watched, the more I saw the potential for greatness. President Trump has won over many of the evangelical leaders who are naturally skeptical of a politician who did not emerge from among their ranks. Still, as I saw them embrace President Trump despite his obvious flaws, I had to take a second look. And what I have seen is a man who, though flawed, has great potential. His work as president has just begun, and God’s work in his life has just begun, as well.”

About the Author

Michael Gryboski is a writer for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report: If Roy Moore Does This He Will Win Alabama Senate Seat

Judge Roy Moore’s campaign to win the Alabama Senate seat has become the political story of the year. The scurrilous charges brought by several women have put the seat in peril of falling into Democratic hands in a state that typically votes Republican by 25 percent. Though Moore has fallen behind in the race by 12 percent, he can win the seat – easily. But he must do one thing; if he does this, he wins the seat – guaranteed.

First, let’s set the context. It is being suggested that even if Moore wins the special election, he will not be seated by the Senate. Or if he is seated, he will quickly be expelled. This requires a two-thirds vote. Do the math. If the 48 Democratic senators vote him out – and they will – only 19 of the 52 Republican senators (less than 40 percent) have to vote against him. Be assured they will, because if Moore remains in the Senate, he will be the albatross of all albatrosses for the Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections.

But none of this will matter. Here’s why. If Moore does what I’m about to suggest, he will win election, and his critics will all go away. Well, they will mostly go away. If he doesn’t do what I’m about to suggest, he will lose the election. Said differently, the one thing that will win him the election will also keep his critics at bay – the senators who might otherwise turn him out from the Senate.

So what is the one thing Judge Moore can do to save his political career?

Pass a lie detector.

With just three weeks to go until the election, if Moore takes – and passes – a polygraph, his problems will fade enough to win him election in a red state. Moore has made claims that are immensely testable by polygraph. He has claimed he didn’t even know some of these women. He has claimed their specific accusations absolutely did not happen. He can clear himself by passing a lie detector.

Now, some might find two problems with this strategy – not that he has any other choices at this point. First, they might argue, polygraphs are not 100 percent accurate. And that is true. By most measures, polygraph accuracy is set at about 85 percent, which is why they are not admissible in court.

To this I would counter that Moore is facing the court of public opinion. And in this court, his other options have dried up. If he passes a test, most of his accusers will have to at least admit he might be telling the truth, whereas right now, few seem to really believe him.

The second criticism of my suggestion would be that the women may also take polygraphs. What if they pass, as well? That would leave us in a state of the unknown. And in Alabama, tie goes to the Republican. Confusion would be Moore’s best friend at this point, because right now, few are confused; they all seem to think he is guilty.

The worst thing that could happen if Moore takes a polygraph is that he loses absolutely nothing. A smart attorney – which is what he is – knows the results do not need to be made public. Moore can take the test quietly, in the privacy of his own office. If he fails, no one will know he even took the polygraph. So he loses nothing. The test only affects the race if he passes. In that case, he will scream the results from the highest hilltops of the Yellowhammer State. (Yes, Alabama is the Yellowhammer State – not sure what that means.)

That leads me to one obvious conclusion. I can’t be the only one to think of this. Surely, someone in Moore’s inner circle has made the same suggestion. After all, this is really his only chance of redemption. It’s the only way to win back his good reputation. It’s the only way to win election. More importantly, it’s the only way to preserve his personal character.

So why hasn’t Judge Moore already taken a polygraph, given that passing it will save him, while failing it will remain unknown and unannounced? I suggest – and this is only a guess – that he already has. Why wouldn’t he? Even if he is guilty, science confirms that some who are guilty still pass the test. He has nothing to lose by taking the polygraph and everything to gain. So, I suggest he has already taken a polygraph. If he failed, that explains why we haven’t heard about it. Or perhaps he passed, and is waiting for the best timing to announce that he passed the test – just days before the election, when it would be too late for the accusers to counter with polygraphs of their own.

Is Judge Roy Moore guilty? We don’t know, although the preponderance of the evidence is certainly against him. If he passes a polygraph, he will almost certainly be elected to the United States Senate. If he does not take – and pass – a polygraph, I have a better chance of making the 2020 Olympic Team as a decathlete and heavyweight boxer.

Moore must take and pass a polygraph if he wants a seat in the United States Senate. Otherwise, he’s toast.

The Phonograph

Back in the old days, we had this thing called a cassette player. Before that we had records. They spun around in circles. We even cut them out of the back of cereal boxes sometimes. We played them on something called a record player.

But before that – in the really old days – we had this thing called a phonograph. For that we owe a debt of gratitude to a fellow named Thomas Edison. On this day in history – November 21, 1877 – old Tom announced this new invention. With later development, the phonograph would be called the gramophone (1887) and then the record player (1940s).

Others had invented devices to record sounds, but Edison was the first to invent something that could play those sounds back.

Edison was ahead of the times. I mean, who even needed a record player in the days when they had no records? But give the man credit. He saw what others did not see. That’s called a visionary.

God really uses visionaries. The Bible says that in the last days, men will see visions. It also says that we are dead without a vision. What is your vision? Every man and woman needs a vision.

Success requires a lot of work. It requires risk and creativity. But it all starts with a vision. Just ask Mr. Edison.

Political Correctness

Do you know how to never offend anyone with what you say? It’s simple. Never talk about religion, politics, or cats. The one exception is that in most circles is that it is okay to criticize Christianity, but not other religions. Avoid attempts at humor at all cost. It is acceptable to laugh at anything crude, but don’t “force” your morality on anyone else. The phrase for today is “political correctness.” If you are new to the game of PC, let me help.

We don’t “man” an office or position. We “person” it. We don’t allow our children to play Cowboys and Indians. They are to play Cowpersons and Native Americans. As Vice President Al Gore taught us, “My mother always made it clear to my mister and me that men and women were equal, if not more so.”

You have your assignment. May all mankind and womankind strive for equality, if not “more so.” Strive for non-offensive, non-controversial speech in everything you say. But if it is political correctness you want, you may want to avoid the Scriptures. The Scriptures are all about truth, whether it stings or not.

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight” (Psalm 19:14).

The Rushmore Report: Why Judge Moore Should Quit Alabama Race

Republican Senate nominee Judge Roy Moore is being asked by party leaders – from Mitch McConnell to Paul Ryan – to drop out of the race for U.S. Senate from Alabama. Others, in diminishing numbers, are sticking with the religious conservative. So what should he do? It is our position that Roy Moore should drop out of the race –  but not for reasons being stated by many national and party leaders.

First, I freely admit that stepping aside sets a dangerous precedent. Given that there is no proof of inappropriate action on the part of Judge Moore, by stepping down, he will invite future, invalid accusations against political leaders on the verge of scheduled elections.

Second, stepping aside seems to run contrary to the “innocent until proven guilty” standard in America. Again, this will set a precedent with negative consequences, if Moore ends his race for Senate, while declaring his innocence in the face of unproven accusations.

Third, it must be noted that the timing of the five accusations against Judge Moore is more than coincidental. For five women to all come forward after 40 years, all on the eve of an election, is not coincidental; it would seem the timing is politically motivated. That does not invalidate their claims, but it does call them to more scrutiny than if these accusations had come 40 years ago or apart from political consequences.

Having said that, I believe Judge Moore should step aside for three reasons.

First, his denials have been tepid, at best. In a recent interview with Shawn Hannity, Moore was asked if he remembers dating teenage women when he was older than 30. His response: “Not generally.” Then he said, “I don’t remember dating any girl without the permission of her mother.”

Second, Moore should step aside for the sake of his family. To continue in this race is to invite further scrutiny that his wife and children don’t need.

Third, the judge should quit the race for the sake of his party. If he stays in the race, it is likely that another Republican – with full party support – will enter the race as a write-in candidate. And the result will likely be that the two Republicans split the vote, roughly 30-30, allowing Democratic candidate Doug Jones to win with just 40 percent of the vote.

Five things could happen in the race.

1. Roy Moore could win.

2. Doug Jones could win.

3. A write-in candidate could win.

4. Roy Moore could win, then get expelled by the Senate.

5. Governor Kay Ivey could delay the race, in order to get another Republican on the ballot.

It’s hard to say what will happen at this point. It’s a crazy set of circumstances, to be sure. But what is clear is that none of this is good for the country. If the five accusers are telling the truth, this isn’t good for them. Either way, it’s not good for Moore’s family. And it certainly isn’t good for the people of Alabama or the Republican Party Moore seeks to represent in the United States Senate.

So, for the benefit of all concerned, Judge Roy Moore should step out of the Senate race – and in the process, out of the front pages of every newspaper across the country. It’s time for Judge Moore, his family, his state, his party, and his country to move on.

The Rushmore Report: Mike Pence Responds to Texas Church Shooting

Vice President Mike Pence has responded to critics who have questioned the usefulness of prayer following last Sunday’s mass shooting at a church in Texas which left 26 people dead. “Right now, I truly believe that covering those families in prayer is making a difference in their lives, and it will continue to support those families and that community in the days ahead,” Pence told Fox News in an interview.

Online debate has unfurled across Twitter and other platforms in the wake of the massacre at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, with some suggesting that prayer does not work if it can’t protect Christians at church.

“I’m a believer. I believe in prayer and I know that at this moment of such heartbreak and loss in that community that what most Americans are most able to do is pray for those families,” Pence said.

The vice president added, however, that prayer takes “nothing away from our determination to get to the bottom of what happened, to understand the why, to determine whether or not there were errors along the way.”

Authorities are investigating if and in what way existing laws and background checks were not properly applied to shooter Devin Kelley, who illegally purchased the guns he used in last week’s attack.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News in a separate interview that he stands by his offers of prayer, even though he was specifically targeted for his tweets.

Former “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Stand By Me” actor Wil Wheaton lashed out and wrote in response to Ryan’s prayer tweet earlier this week: “The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless sack of [expletive].”

Wheaton later apologized and explained he wasn’t trying to attack people of faith, though prayer continues being criticized in debates online.

“It’s disappointing. It’s sad, and this is what you’ll get from the far secular left. People who do not have faith don’t understand faith, I guess I’d have to say,” Ryan told Fox.

He added, “And it is the right thing to do – to pray in moments like this because you know what? Prayer works.”

The House Speaker blamed the “secular left” for much of the “polarization and disunity” in the country due to sentiments like that.

Prominent pastors, such as Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Irvine, California, told The Christian Post that while it is hard to understand God’s role in tragedies like church shootings, prayer is far from ineffective.

“The Bible does not promise anyone a pain-free life. In fact, Jesus himself said, ‘In this world you will have tribulation’ (John 16:33). Here is what I do know: these people that were gathered for worship at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, believed in and loved Jesus Christ,” Laurie added.

He said that the victims are now in God’s presence, “where there is ‘fullness of joy’ and ‘pleasures forevermore’ (Psalm 16:11). All of their questions are answered; our questions will have to wait.”

Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president of National Day of Prayer and senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, separately told CP: “In this fallen world when the spirit of evil is raging, all things that happen are not good. Yet, our faith and hope remain in God alone. When we pray, we are depending on God for strength; when we do not pray, we choose to depend upon ourselves, which always leads to unbelief.”

About the Author

Stoyan Zaimov is a writer for The Christian Post.