The FACT Report is a one-minute radio commentary on events that impact life, the family and religious liberty in Tennessee.The FACT Report is heard weekly on the Bott Radio Network, including Memphis on WCRV 640 AM and Nashville on WCRT 1160 AM. (Full station list below)
Atheists Attempt to Dehumanize Christmas (November 20, 2013)
Can an atheist group that promotes man’s ability to bring goodwill to others manage to steal Christmas gifts from needy children?
Because Operation Christmas Child was a Christian-based effort, the American Humanist Association bullied a South Carolina public school into shutting down the campaign intended to collect necessities and gifts to fill shoeboxes for delivery to poor children throughout the world. Not surprisingly, Humanists had no plan of their own to help the needy children they deprived. So much for goodwill.
Here’s the happy ending: ambitious students offered a lesson in humanity. They organized collection points along public sidewalks, filled trucks and celebrated with a religious rally while fulfilling their mission. As the Humanists were using their money to hire lawyers to make a legal point, God’s people found a way to give … and show His love to others.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Atheists Attempt to Dehumanize Christmas
Giving Thanks to Whom? Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving is here again – a time when we gather to offer thanks for the blessings of the past year. But…who are we thankful to?
George Washington knew.
More than 220 years ago, President Washington proclaimed, “it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for His benefit, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
Abraham Lincoln knew, as well. He called it folly for our nation to sever “its national identity and dependence from the God who has given it birth and blessed it for so long.”
As Americans we all too often put our hope in the economy, better government or military might – which are important – but as you gather to celebrate Thanksgiving, remember: it’s Almighty God from whom all our blessings flow.
“As we gather in our communities and in our homes, around the table or near the hearth, we give thanks to each other and to God for the many kindnesses and comforts that grace our lives. Let us pause to recount the simple gifts that sustain us, and resolve to pay them forward in the year to come.” (emphasis added)
[This post originally appeared in November of 2011.]
Unified Forces Rallying Petition Drive in Chattanooga (November 20, 2013)
Chattanooga’s City Council has approved benefits for its employees’ unmarried “significant other,” including same sex partners, and their children, but the battle is not over.
Some city residents, unwilling to back down, hope to nullify the council’s vote by forcing the issue to a referendum for all voters to decide. Their determined petition effort has united those upset at council’s attempt to redefine marriage in disregard of their moral objections with those who reject the Council’s decision to add non-employees to insurance costs already spiraling out of control, especially since the Council cut insurance benefits promised to retired city workers in 2010.
Organizers just have 14 days to secure the signatures of almost 5,000 voters, but their fight may just set an example for citizens in other cities to follow in coming days.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Culture War Just Beginning in Chattanooga
Is it Benefits for Equal Work or Equal Relationships? (November 13, 2013)
Do government employees in relationships with “significant others” deserve extended insurance benefits for their partners and dependents in the same way that benefits are extended to the spouse and children of a married employee? As several cities in Tennessee debate this issue, don’t be fooled.
Those lobbying to change the benefits qualifications argue that two people doing the same job deserve the same pay and benefits, but the real issue is not equality of pay, but equality of relationships.
The benefits at issue aren’t given in the first place because of the work done, but because of the nature of the employee’s relationship with another person – their spouse. With this in mind, it becomes clear that the real issue is whether other sexual relationships should be treated as equal to marriage
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, What My Accounting Class Taught Me About Same-sex Benefits
Tennessee to be Epicenter of Abortion Issue (November 6, 2013)
Tennessee will soon become the epicenter of the abortion debate in America. Next November, Tennesseans will go to the polls to vote on Amendment 1 to the Tennessee Constitution that would reverse the state Supreme Court’s ruling that abortion is a state constitutional right.
Passage of the amendment would once again allow Tennesseans to have common sense regulations regarding abortion, like informed consent and waiting period laws.
But don’t think this is an issue just between us Tennesseans; pro-abortion advocates don’t like to loose anywhere. And judging by the fact that simply a recent pro-life campaign kick-off event attracted national media attention, you better believe national pro-abortion organizations will pour money into our state.
Get ready, Tennessee. The “Vote Yes on One” campaign will put the national spotlight regarding abortion on our state.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Forget Texas – Tennessee is Abortion Epicenter
Roe v. Wade and Same-sex Marriage (October 30, 2013)
Attorneys for same-sex couples that sued to strike down Tennessee’s marriage law might try to take a page out of legal playbook used in Roe versus Wade.
Forty years ago, the Supreme Court relied on the then-current state of medical knowledge and technology to sweep aside a state’s right to value life by protecting the unborn.
Now, these same-sex couples are likely to point to medical technologies that allow them to “get pregnant” and to scientific “studies” that supposedly say children do just as well with two dads as with a mom and a dad.
But the Roe case should have taught us law must be based on moral judgments, not the sifting sands of scientific research. The Court made a mess of abortion by relying on science. Hopefully it won’t repeat the same mistake with respect to marriage.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Don’t Roe Out Marriage in Tennessee
What Politics Can Teach the Church (October 23, 2013)
In modern politics you must be ready to respond to critical issues within hours – not days. The church grades high when natural disasters strike. But when public policies threaten the fundamental meaning of marriage, too often the Church doesn’t know about it or just keeps silent.
Recently, Nashville, Chattanooga, and Knoxville have moved toward redefining marriage in regard to personnel policies for their employees. While a few pastors responded when contacted, the vast majority are silent. It’s disappointing that no group of pastors has come forward to publicly uphold the sanctity of marriage or even call for organized prayer.
Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Amos stood before Kings and told the truth. They were more fearful of God if they said nothing than of what the people or rulers would say about them. We need leaders like those of old.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, What Politics Can Teach The Church
Can We Pray? (October 16, 2013)
The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether local governments can ask citizens to pray for God’s blessings on their public meetings and whether those who pray are free to do so in a manner consistent with what they believe. To be more specific, the issue is whether government can allow someone to pray in Jesus’ name and can the person invited actually pray in Jesus’ name?
The plaintiffs insist prayers be non-sectarian, in other words, prayers to nobody in particular and in no particular way. But is a prayer to nobody, much less one offered contrary to one’s beliefs, even a prayer?
Government is not supposed to interfere with the free exercise of religion, but what could be a more clear violation of religious liberty than to tell a person to whom they can pray and how?
Why Stop With Domestic Partner Benefits? (October 3, 2013)
Some elected officials in Chattanooga and Nashville want to extend certain benefits for city employees beyond married couples to domestic partners, in other words, non-married couples who have been in a “continuous committed relationship” for some defined period of time.
The reason often given is that major cities have to compete for good employees with major businesses that offer such benefits.
But if being competitive with the private sector is the issue, then why wouldn’t a city want to increase its competitive edge – go beyond “domestic partnership” so narrowly defined and include all persons in a continuous committed relationship such as two unmarried sisters who live together?
They won’t because what advocates for domestic partnership benefits really care about is having society say their non-marital relationships are the moral equivalent of marriage. That is the real issue.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Why Stop With Domestic Partner Benefits
Modern Liberty’s Final Destination (October 3, 2013)
Last week the Marriage and Religious Freedom Act was filed in the U.S. House of Representatives. Its purpose is to prevent the federal government from discriminating against citizens and organizations that believe God’s design for marriage.
When you consider that we’ve gone from civil government promoting and protecting marriage to having to protect marriage from civil government, well, in the words of the old commercial, we’ve come a long way baby.
We have gone from liberty that cherished religious liberty to a new kind of liberty – liberty for the sake of liberty. The only destination that kind of liberty can reach is chaos and totalitarianism.
Unless our leaders can find the courage to change our course or we have the courage to change our leaders, we will soon have gone as far as we can go.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Modern Liberty’s Final Destination
Constitution Day, the First Amendment, and Karl Marx (September 25, 2013)
Even as many didn’t realize that Constitution Day was last week, many don’t realize that the increase in government suppression of our religious liberty is a result of forgetting our heritage and the history of the First Amendment.
We’ve all heard of Thomas Jefferson private letter mentioning the separation of church and state, but few have heard of the “other” letter that provided the necessary context. In that other letter Jefferson made it clear the issue was not protecting atheists from religious influences in the public square, but frustrating the intentions of the two denominations then vying to establish themselves as the national church.
Having forgotten our heritage of religious liberty, we’ve allowed religion to be forced from the public square.
It looks like Karl Marx may have been right: “A people without a heritage are easily persuaded.”
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Constitution Day, the First Amendment, and Karl Marx
The Courageous in My Everyday Life (September 18, 2013)
Last week, Americans remembered the events of 9-11 and the courage shown by those we call our first responders. Most people never face situations requiring that kind of courage.
But, every day presents opportunities to show moral courage.
Today it takes courage to speak up against the unrighteous social policies our governments are embracing.
Sadly it seems that too many Christians are cowed into silence when courage in the face of opposition and ridicule has been our history. When tempted today to bend truth to tolerance, we would do well to remember the words of protestant reformer, Martin Luther:
Let us take care, lest in our endeavors to arrest discords, we be bound to fight against the holy word of God and bring down upon our heads a frightful deluge of inextricable dangers, present disaster, and everlasting desolations.”
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, God: Losing Our Courageous Heritage
God Crazy Men Wanted (September 10, 2013)
Recently when Chattanooga’s City Council said it would consider providing benefits to its employees in same sex relationships, a local evangelist showed up to remind members of what God’s Word says about homosexuality. They cut him off after he persisted in referring to same-sex relationships as “wicked.” He was being “disrespectful” to supportive council members.
Sadly today, even many within the church are made uncomfortable by those who take Jesus and what the Bible says too seriously. To them such people are a bit fanatical, crazy.
But they would do well to remember that the apostle Paul, in speaking before Agrippa and Festus, was accused of “being mad.”
Perhaps God is still looking for a few good “crazy men” to speak to those in power. If He finds them, then maybe revival will tarry no longer.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, God: Crazy Men Needed in Tennessee
Tears, Culture, and Change (September 4, 2013)
Recently the sensual dance by Billy Ray Cyrus’s daughter on TV and the drunken assault on a police office by Alan Jackson’s daughter made national news. When you heard about it, what thoughts came to your mind? Perhaps the hearts of many broke because our culture seems to draw in our young people and then spits them out: broken and wounded.
But culture really isn’t the problem. We are the culture. Our hearts should break because we have allowed culture to become what it is.
It is said that a couple of officers in the Salvation Army once wrote its founder, William Booth, to tell him they had tried everything they knew to bring about revival. He sent this short reply, “Try tears!”
Perhaps when our hearts break to the point of tears, our culture will change.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Mr. Cyrus, Mr. Jackson & Me
Education Reform Requires Mom and Dad (August 28, 2013)
A study released last week on public education in Tennessee showed that spending on administration is far outpacing spending in the classroom and that there is no statistically significant correlation between spending and student achievement. However, the problem in public education is not just how money is being spent or how much, but our spending is trying to make up for something that is indispensible to a good education - a functional family unit.
For example, schools spend money on character education, and well-funded organizations have arisen to support them. But character is best learned at home where a mom and a dad live responsibly. No amount of money can replace what good parents can do for free.
Until we address the root of the problem – the dissolution of the traditional family – don’t expect real education reform.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Fruitless Efforts in Education Reform
Bigotry and Intolerance on Display in TN (August 21, 2013)
The same sex marriage debate recently came to a head in Collegedale, a small city outside Chattanooga, Tennessee.
The city council voted to extend health insurance coverage to a city employee’s “domestic partner”, despite opposition from an overwhelming majority of citizens present for the vote, But, the City only did so for those who had proof of a same sex marriage, not to all persons in some kind of “committed” domestic partnership. Hypocritically, the council wanted to grant moral equivalence to some relationships outside the bounds of natural, heterosexual marriage, but not others.
And the basis for that supposed equivalence — love and commitment — they would not apply to everyone fairly and equally. In not doing so, the City Council showed their intolerance toward all loving and committed relationships and their disdain for marriage.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Bigotry and Intolerance Displayed in Tennessee
Gay Advocates Have Explaining to Do (August 14, 2013)
Last week same-sex couples in four Tennessee counties applied for and were denied marriage licenses. That means lawsuits to force same-sex marriage on Tennessee will soon follow.
But same-sex marriage advocates need to prove to us that redefining marriage will improve our common good. And if they want “marriage equality,” then they bear the burden to prove that a same-sex union is essentially the same as a heterosexual union in all regards.
If they can’t, then there is nothing “unequal” about treating different things different ways.
But when you boil it all down, same sex marriage rest on the belief that men and women are the same apart from anatomy. That’s why talk of gender equality has escalated along with the talk of same sex marriage.
But when seen in that light, most Tennesseans will find their arguments unpersuasive.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, What TN Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Must Explain
Will Tennessee Politicians Stand for Marriage? (August 7, 2013)
A federal court ruling last week in Ohio is going to reveal a lot about the political courage of Tennessee’s state officials.
That ruling, if upheld by the Court of Appeals and applied to Tennessee’s constitution, means that homosexual couples residing in Tennessee who go to another state to get married would, upon their return, have to be treated as married under Tennessee law, even though over 80% of Tennessee voters supported a state constitutional amendment saying that such marriages are not valid here.
The question is whether our Attorney General will submit a brief to the court of appeals to defend our definition of marriage? And if he doesn’t, will our Governor and state legislators insist that the Speakers of the state House and Senate defend it, as allowed by law? Keep listening. We’ll let you know.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Will Tennessee Politicians Stand for Marriage?
Is Same Sex Marriage Coming to Tennessee? (July 31, 2013)
Since June many have wondered whether the language in the Supreme Court’s marriage decisions would be used by other judges to strike down as unconstitutional state laws that define marriage as a man and a woman.
We will soon find the answer for Tennessee. Last week a Federal Judge in Ohio ruled that it was unconstitutional for Ohio to refuse to recognize as valid in Ohio heterosexual marriages from other states but not same sex marriages.
If the ruling is upheld by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, then that court’s ruling will be binding on Tennessee because its rulings on constitutional matters are binding on all federal courts in that circuit, which includes Tennessee’s. So if you want to know if same sex marriage is coming to Tennessee, then keep your eyes on Ohio.
Read more about this issue in David Fowler’s recent commentary, Same Sex Marriage in Tennessee, Ohio Style
When the Court Insults God (July 24, 2013)
In striking down part of the Defense of Marriage Act, a majority of the Supreme Court said that, in their judgment, to define marriage as one man and one woman was to “demean” homosexual couples and nothing but a “bare desire … to harm a politically unpopular group.”
Many objected to such attitudes being attributed to the overwhelming majority of Congressmen and the President who supported the Act. But it is not political leaders who should be insulted, but God Himself, who cannot but be insulted by the audacity of these five judges who unwittingly said that God’s desire in designing marriage was to demean and harm others.
Marriage was designed by God to glorify Himself, and it is only the Goodness of God that, for now, keeps these Justices and our nation from experiencing His judgment.
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