The Lamp

Where truth can be shared.

Archive for May, 2007

On Second Thought

Posted by thelamp on May 17, 2007

The state of Pennsylvania is allowing a Christian college and a coalition of faith-based, non-profit service organizations to use government-funded job placement services after previously denying the request.

Geneva College and the Association of Faith-Based Organizations (AFBO) had been denied access to the state’s job placement services, which are funded by the federal government. State and federal officials said they were concerned about violating a governmental “non-discrimination policy” that prohibits listing of religious staffing requirements.

Geneva College is a four-year private Christian college in Beaver Falls, Penn. The Association of Faith-Based Organizations, based in Springfield, Va., works to protect religious organizations’ constitutional right to staff and select members on a religious basis.

Prompted by a lawsuit last December, the federal government and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have conceded that “the policy did not apply to Geneva College or AFBO’s members, and they will no longer be prohibited from posting job listings.”

Government officials, both state and federal, must recognize the constitutional right of religious organizations to hire employees who share their beliefs and values. This right is as central to a faith-based organization’s mission as other qualifications are to non-religious businesses. It shouldn’t take a court order, or threat of one, to enjoy the guaranteed protection of Constitution.


Posted in afbo, Anti-Christian attitudes, association of faith-based organizations, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, christians, civil rights, CMC, constitution, Education, Equal Rights, geneva college, God, pennsylvania, Recent News & Events, Religion/Politics, Separation of Church and State, Separation of Church and State--the First Amendment | Leave a Comment »

Give Parents and Students What They Want

Posted by thelamp on May 4, 2007

Educating their children has always been a passionate issue for parents. Knowledge and character are two of the most important qualities any contributing member of society must possess, but public education has failed miserably at producing graduates who’ve mastered them.

Despite its good intentions, the No Child Left Behind mandate hasn’t fulfilled its mission, but some lawmakers are willing to change national policy. The Empowering Parents Through Choice Act, a bill introduced by Sen. Lemar Alexander, R-Tenn., proves someone on Capitol Hill has been listening to parents’ pleas.

Click here to ask your senator to support S. 1014, the Empowering Parents Through Choice Act.

If passed, parents nationwide would finally be allowed to pull their children out of failing schools, with the federal government’s blessing – and up to $4,000 in financial support. Instead of fighting for their lives in bathrooms or studying from outdated textbooks in inadequate facilities, inquisitive, bright kids can go to a place where they can learn.

Advocates for school choice understand that in far too many cases, the basic problem lies not with the student, but with inadequate government-run schools. Unfortunately, the patchwork of policies across the United States has left some children without the same access to a quality schools as their peers in states embracing choice. No child should be locked out and denied access to a successful future, and a good education is the proverbial key to opening doors.

Despite the perception that poor, minority or immigrant children don’t value education, there are stories coast to coast about the significant sacrifices families are willing to make for education’s sake. In South Carolina, for example, 16-year-old Rontrell Matthews doesn’t squander the money he earns making sandwiches at the local Subway in the afternoons. Instead of buying bling-bling or DVDs, his earnings contribute to the $400 tuition his parents pay for his schooling.

School choice is a hotly debated issue in South Carolina and elsewhere in America. In Ohio, the governor wants to pull the plug on the state’s fledgling school choice voucher program. The Center for Moral Clarity is collaborating with parents and like-minded organizations in a fight to maintain it.

Parents in New Jersey are anxiously awaiting a judge’s ruling, which will determine whether a class action lawsuit on behalf of students in failing schools can proceed in Superior Court. Mothers and fathers – taxpaying citizens – are suing for the right to use public funds to enroll their children at the school of their choosing.

Similar scenarios are playing out in other states, such as Utah, Minnesota and Florida. In Texas, a commission has recommended expanding school choice in that state, although a similar push for expansion died in New Mexico’s General Assembly at the end of its last legislative session.

All of this is offered as evidence to underscore the obvious: parents value the education provided in a religious environment, and they demand access to it.

Click here to ask your senator to support S. 1014, the Empowering Parents Through Choice Act.


Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Children, CMC, Education, Rod Parsley, school | Leave a Comment »

Bloodshed in Blacksburg: A Sign of the Times

Posted by thelamp on May 4, 2007

Horror and disbelief bewildered the nation Monday when a gunman unleashed his rage upon innocent students and faculty at Virginia Tech, turning the picturesque campus into the scene of the deadliest school shooting in American history.

Initial details as to what precipitated the massacre were sketchy and continue to unfold, but this much is known: when the rampage was over, 33 lives had come to an abrupt end. As the ripple effect of the tragedy spreads sorrow and anguish far beyond Blacksburg, a disquieting aura of deja vu hangs over the nation.

A Tech student being interviewed by a TV news reporter referred to the incident as “the college Columbine.” It’s tragically sad for America that this week’s violent outburst isn’t the first; it’s just the most recent, and for now – the most deadly.

In the eight years that have passed since Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 15 people and wounded another 23 at Columbine High School in Colorado, there have been at least 22 similar slayings on school grounds in 16 states. Prior to Monday, the death toll stood at 35, with 31 people among the wounded.

“It’s all too common that by the time young people reach the tender age of 16, they’ve already killed thousands of people or creatures ‘virtually’ with realistic splatter and gore. Keep in mind that studies in neuroscience have shown that the human brain treats vividly imagined events and real ones almost identically,” said Pastor Parsley. “Thus, when the time comes to level a real gun at a real schoolmate, any tendency toward remorse or conscience will have been eliminated. They will already have ‘been there’ many times before.”

America is in desperate need of prayer. Bible-believing Christians know that there is a way to restore the sacred value human life holds.

“If my people, which are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14.

People of faith hold the key to transforming classrooms and other public places into the peaceful places they once were. At this pivotal moment in history, God’s children must step forward and become agents of change. If Christians fail to extend His love and compassion, anger and violence will decimate the nation.


Posted in Anti-Christian attitudes, Center for Moral Clarity, christians, church, CMC, crime, guns, moral, moral values, murder, prayer, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley, Virginia Tech | Leave a Comment »

A Cause for Celebration: SCOTUS Respects Life!

Posted by thelamp on May 4, 2007

Pro-life advocates across America are rejoicing, and with good cause. In a 5-4 ruling announced Wednesday morning, the Supreme Court of the United States upheld the nationwide ban on partial-birth abortions. This victory is significant because the court’s decision moves the nation a step closer to respecting every life as sacred.

The decision comes roughly five months after oral arguments were presented before the justices Nov. 8, 2006, in two cases challenging the baby-killing ban (Gonzales v. Carhart and Gonzales v. Planned Parenthood). The highest court in the land confirms what advocates for life have been proclaiming for the past four years: Congress and President Bush have the authority to forbid butchering a baby seconds before he or she can take in the first precious breath of life (click here to read the Supreme Court’s opinion).

Partial-birth abortion is a gruesome and inhumane procedure that is never medically necessary and should be prohibited. Now it is. This monumental accomplishment would not have been possible without passionate activist citizens, commitment from federal lawmakers to preserve life – and a leader in the White House with enough courage to firmly stand for what is right.

Click here to thank President Bush for his unwavering support for the right to life.

“The Supreme Court’s decision is the best news we’ve heard from the high court in decades,” said Pastor Rod Parsley, who was at the White House in 2003 to witness President Bush signing the partial-birth abortion ban into law. “That the unnecessary and barbaric practice has been legal was a national tragedy. Fortunately, the justices have taken a small, but important step toward restoring some sanity and humanity to our nation’s culture of life.”

The procedure at issue involves partially removing an alive – but unborn – baby from its mother’s womb, then crushing or cutting the tiny skull so that death occurs before the child leaves the birth canal. Clearly, partial-birth abortion is nothing less than infanticide.

For years, abortion mills have insisted that women had a “constitutional right” to kill their offspring in this fashion. Such an argument was outlandish, and in an opinion penned by Justice Anthony Kennedy, the Supreme Court wisely rejected that notion.

Of course, in the landmark Roe v Wade ruling that made abortion legal, the Supreme Court did indeed say that the 14th Amendment grants women a qualified right to terminate a pregnancy. This week’s ruling opens the door to reversing the troublesome 1973 decision that led America down a dark, murderous path.

In a concurring opinion, Justices Clarence Thomas and Anotnin Scalia indicated that they were prepared to consider a challenge to the 34-year-old Roe v. Wade decision.

“I write separately to reiterate my view that the court’s abortion jurisprudence, including Casey and Roe v. Wade, has no basis in the Constitution,” wrote Justice Thomas. Those words are sweet music to Christian ears!

Several state legislatures are working on abortion prohibitions that eventually could result in a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, which in 1973 was brought on behalf of “Jane Roe,” Norma McCorvey. McCorvey has since joined the multitude of Americans who ardently oppose abortion.

Bible believers have good reason to anticipate an end to the culture of death that has fostered permissive attitudes toward killing innocent unborn babies.

Click here to thank President Bush for his unwavering support for the right to life.


Posted in Abortion, Anti-Abortion, babies, bible, Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, CMC, Family Matters, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley, supreme court, unborn babies | Leave a Comment »

United in Prayer

Posted by thelamp on May 4, 2007

Americans are an eclectic lot. Although rich diversity is among the nation’s tremendous assets, it also contributes to factions that unnecessarily alienate and divide the citizenry. The National Day of Prayer is an ideal opportunity to set those differences aside and come together with a collective, unified voice.

The 56th Annual National Day of Prayer took place Thursday, May 3. The theme for this year, “America, Unite in Prayer,” was based on 2 Chronicles 7:14, which states: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

“A prayerful spirit has always been an important part of our national character, and it is a force that has guided the American people, given us strength, and sustained us in moments of joy and in times of challenge,” President George W. Bush said in the this year’s proclamation from the White House. “On this National Day of Prayer, we acknowledge God’s grace and ask for His continued guidance in the life of our nation.”

Although the National Day of Prayer was established in 1952, when President Harry Truman signed it into law, the first request for such a day pre-dates the nation itself. In 1775, the Continental Congress asked the colonies to pray for wisdom in forming a nation. Roughly a century later, in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln, too, called for a day of “humiliation, fasting, and prayer.” In 1988, the law was amended and signed by President Reagan, permanently setting the day as the first Thursday of every May.

The National Day of Prayer has great significance for the United States as a nation. It enables contemporary generations to recall and to teach the way in which America’s founding fathers sought the wisdom of God when faced with critical decisions. National Day of Prayer stands as a call for everyone – across all walks of life – to humbly come before God, seeking His guidance for the leaders and His grace upon the citizens as a people.

Furthermore, the unanimous passage of the bill establishing the National Day of Prayer as an annual event signifies that prayer is as important to our nation today as it was in the beginning. This year’s “Prayer for Our Nation” was written by Dr. Charles R. Swindoll.

2007 Prayer for Our Nation

Almighty God, we pause to reflect on Your character as we seek wisdom for such a time as this.

In these unsafe days,
You remain all-powerful and able to protect;

In these uncertain times,
You remain all-knowing, leading us aright;

In the unprecedented events we’re facing,
You remain absolutely sovereign.
Our times are in Your hands.

Therefore, our dependence on You, is total, not partial
. . . our need for Your forgiveness is constant
. . . our gratitude for Your grace is profound
. . . our love for You is deep.

We ask that You guard and guide our President
and all who serve the people of these United States.
May uncompromising integrity mark their lives.

We also ask that You unite us as truly “one nation,
under God.” May genuine humility return to our ranks.

And may that blend of integrity and humility
heal our land.

In our Lord’s name we pray,



Posted in Center for Moral Clarity, Christianity, christians, church, CMC, day of prayer, prayer, Recent News & Events, Rod Parsley | Leave a Comment »