It's not necessarily a knock against government, but it also shouldn't be surprising.

After a dozen years without a major hurricane, the U.S. has been hit hard in recent weeks, getting rocked first by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and then Hurricane Irma hitting Florida. In both cases, the storms destroyed thousands of homes and impacted millions of lives. And in both cases, ordinary Christians beat government to the scene to aid victims.

What the average American news consumer may not know is that faith-based relief groups have provided roughly 80% of the aid. Methodists, Presbyterians and other denominations sent out relief crews to help with cleanup after Harvey. Samaritan’s Purse, the Christian non-profit founded by the Reverend Franklin Graham, brought a convoy of trucks loaded with food, chainsaws and other goods. Seventh Day Adventists began dispersing bottled water, diapers, clothing and other supplies. Mormons have also gotten in on the act, providing truckloads of water, hygiene kits and other relief supplies for the victims of Hurricane Harvey, as well as opening up their church buildings as command centers for coordination of relief efforts. They will also be sending in thousands of volunteers to help with the cleanup and recovery from these storms.

Beyond the U.S., Baptist volunteers are already on the ground in the Caribbean, assessing needs there.

That’s just scratching the surface.

It’s amazing to see churches and their volunteers already on site giving assistance before FEMA shows up. Many of these Christians are veterans of previous disaster relief efforts, able to assess needs and get to work without waiting on government bureaucrats for direction. Often times, FEMA plays a supporting role in the work the churches have begun. This is the essence of the American spirit, and of the Christian spirit — self-reliance and charity working hand in hand.

While the victims of these disasters rejoice at the sight of these Earth-bound angels come to provide assistance, not everyone is pleased at non-government-authorized charity. Some have sought to prohibit churches from receiving federal funds to aid in their disaster relief efforts.

As of now, FEMA guidelines prohibit federal aid from going to any institution that allocates more than half of its space to “religious programming,” which would obviously include virtually every church. This despite the fact that many of the same churches being denied federal funds have already opened up their facilities to victims of these disasters and as coordination centers for relief efforts. Several churches are suing.

Last Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted the following message on the subject: “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others).”

(We’ll offer the caveat that churches should do and are doing what they can whether backed by the feds or not.)

Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) also highlighted the unfairness of targeting for discrimination the very religious organizations that are doing the most to alleviate suffering. “This policy discriminates against people of faith. It sends the message that communities of worship aren’t welcome to participate fully in public life,” he said. “It reduces the facilities and volunteers time, talent, and effort available to support the broader community. And it is inconsistent with the Supreme Court’s recent 7-2 ruling in Trinity Lutheran. … In other words, it is unconstitutional. It is unreasonable. And it is impeding ongoing recovery efforts.”

Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a militant secularist organization seeking to eradicate every last vestige of religion, and specifically Christianity, from American public life, has actually condemned allowing faith-based charities the same access to government resources that non-religious groups enjoy.

Barry Lynn, founder of the anti-religious group, made the following statement, stunning in its abject contempt for religion and its heartlessness toward the victims these Christian groups assist: “We know a lot of people in Texas are suffering, and we are sympathetic. But the fact that something bad has happened does not justify a second wrong. Taxpayers should not be forced to protect religious institutions that they don’t subscribe to.”

Not discriminating against religious groups providing critical aid to disaster victims is a “wrong”? Lynn’s is an outrageous statement worthy of condemnation.

The irony of the anti-religious secularists’ position is that they are not themselves willing to provide the same relief they seek to prevent churches from providing. As Arthur Brooks, respected social scientist and president of the American Enterprise Institute, points out regarding charitable giving in America, “Religious people are far more charitable than nonreligious people. In years of research, I have never found a measurable way in which secularists are more charitable than religious people.”

When seeing those in need, Christians act upon a moral imperative required by their religious beliefs, without thought of earthly reward. In the Christian faith, when we feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or give drink to the thirsty, we are serving Christ, for it was Christ himself who declared, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

https://patriotpost.us/articles/51258

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"Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a militant secularist organization seeking to eradicate every last vestige of religion, and specifically Christianity, from American public life, has actually condemned allowing faith-based charities the same access to government resources that non-religious groups enjoy." Quote taken from article above.

Where is Americans United for the Separation of Chruch and State in the relief efforts for Irma and Harvey? No where to be found?  Such organizations are counter productive to the good works of Christian and secular charities... they need to be completely isolated and ignored in our society.  Let them spend their time being angry and hateful.... while the Christians work too bring relief to the suffering in this world.

I fail to comprehend the amount of abject stupidity it takes to maintain that the first amendment to the Constitution ascertains that Christianity is prohibited by government.

The only explanation is that it is by design.  And that is sedition, pure and simple. 

When I say "prohibited by government" I mean the notion that separation of church and state  intends to prevent religious observance rather than to allow it unimpeded by government mandate.

I don't know how the first amendment could be any more simple and plain than it is. It is impossible to misconstrue the meaning of it unless one is purposefully dedicated to altering the clear meaning of it.

And that, folks, is what the intellectuals and constitutional scholars are engaged in, twisting the Constitution into a joke of a document.

Look at it this way. If one can destroy the 10 commandments, then what have they done to a belief in an all powerful, ever living, creator God?  They have turned Him into a celestial butler who is there only to serve them at their bidding.

The United States is nothing apart from the Constitution that binds it together.  It is not a Union at all, merely a club, a non bound conglomeration of unit states, independent of one another, and therefore  ripe for the picking.

That is the danger of modifying any part of the Constitution. The practice will not stop until the entire document is destroyed, and the Nation along with it.

The socialist and Marxist have and are using our Courts to subvert our Constitution ... it is time to reclaim the original intent of our founders as summarized in the Pre-amble to the US Constitution:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution …"Quote Pre-amble of the US Constitution.  See: https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_preamble.html

We the PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES... do ordain and establish this Constitution... TO SECURE THE BLESSINGS OF LIBERTY TO OURSELVES AND OUR POSTERITY...  not for illegal aliens, and their posterity.  Judges who don't understand this simple and direct language need to be impeached, removed from office and disbarred from practicing law anywhere in the US of A.

The United States Constitution is being bastardized by activist judges and a feckless Federal Government.... it's past time we hold Congress and the Administration accountable for their failure to reign these offending Judges and their accomplices in the government (federal and state).  In fact, it appears that Congress deliberately permits such bastardization of our Constitution by these activist Jurist, in order to accomplish what they politically can not do thru open legislation... as the people would revolt and cast them out.

Finally, I would note that US Attorney's and the DOJ appear to have brought cases or thrown cases... which deliberately subvert our Constitution, it appears sedition is at work in the highest levels of our government.. The People must not accept such verdicts by its judiciary and Department of Justice.

Exactly, and when Sedition takes a form that aides and abets our enemies it becomes treason.  What we need is an AG that is willing to enforce the laws regarding Sedition... albeit Sessions appears to be a Globalist or at a minimum an Establishment hack unwilling to enforce the laws of the United States when it comes to prosecuting those political powers who engage in acts designed to fundamentally transform America.

I've been fighting this for years. "Separation of church and state" is nowhere to be found in the Constitution. Those words were used by President Thomas Jefferson in a letter to three members of The Danbury Baptist Association in assurance that no official religion could be established in Connecticutt or the US. Jefferson was only the president at the time, and did not possess any authority to amend or supplement the language in the original documented Constitution. Any efforts to suppress Christian speech or exercise violate those rights expressly written into the Constitution. The "establishment clause" was written to prohibit the "establishment" of a powerful governmental body, such as the then-despised "Church of England."

ID# 5367 - Extreme Stick Figure Giving Thumbs Up - PowerPoint Animation

Ronald,

That is so true the first amendment was to prevent the government from establishing a religion.  The people decide for themselves.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof"

Our Founding Fathers were knowledgeable creating a Republic that they believed could last as long as the people were moral.      

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ALERT ALERT

Newt Says What The Rest Of Us Are Thinking:
It’s Time To Throw Peter Strzok In Jail

Disgraced FBI special agent Peter Strzok, a senior member of the bureau who gained notoriety in recent months over his anti-Trump text messages to a colleague, was grilled for nearly 10 hours during a joint congressional committee hearing on Thursday.

At issue was Strzok’s anti-Trump texts to former FBI lawyer and lover Lisa Page that coincided with his leading of the investigations into both former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private email server scandal and the alleged Trump/Russia 2016 election collusion, as well as his involvement in the subsequent Robert Mueller special counsel probe.

The hearing proved to be a heated battle, as Strzok displayed an arrogant smugness in defiance of pointed questions from Republicans that he largely danced around, while Democrats sought to upend and undermine the entire hearing with a plethora of interruptions, parliamentary maneuvers and outright praise for the man who helped let Clinton off the hook while ferociously targeting Trump.

Former House speaker and presidential candidate Newt Gingrich was less than impressed with Strzok’s performance and cooperation in the hearing and suggested during an appearance on Fox Business that the FBI agent should be held in contempt of Congress.

“I think they have to move to hold him in contempt and throw him in jail,” Gingrich said of Congress and Strzok.

“This is a person who is willfully standing up and refusing to appear as a congressional witness and he was a government employee at the time,” he continued.

“He has every obligation to inform the legislative branch, and I don’t think they have any choice except to move a motion of contempt because he is fundamentally — and so is his girlfriend (Page) — they’re both fundamentally in violation of the entire constitutional process,” he added.

Page had been subpoenaed to appear before Congress on Wednesday but refused to appear, saying she’d been unable to review relevant documents prior to the scheduled hearing, a closed-door hearing that has since been rescheduled for Friday.

Gingrich was not the only one who thought Strzok deserved to be held in contempt of Congress, as House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte informed Strzok that he remained at risk of such during the hearing, according to The Daily Caller.

That warning from Goodlatte came after Strzok had refused to answer a straightforward question posed by House Oversight Committee chairman Trey Gowdy, regarding how many people Strzok had personally interviewed between a specific set of dates in relation to the Clinton email investigation.

“Mr. Strzok, please be advised that you can either comply with the committee’s direction to answer the question or refuse to do so,” Goodlatte stated. “The latter of which will place you in risk of a contempt citation and potential criminal liability. Do you understand that? The question is directed to the witness.”

Strzok still refused to answer, citing instructions received from his counsel and the FBI to not answer certain questions on certain topics.

Goodlatte replied, “Mr. Strzok, in a moment we will continue with the hearing, but based on your refusal to answer the question, at the conclusion of the day we will be recessing the hearing and you will be subject to recall to allow the committee to consider proceeding with a contempt citation.”

It is unclear if Goodlatte and the committee ultimately did consider a contempt citation for Strzok following the contentious hearing, nor is it clear if Page will be held in contempt for blowing off her subpoenaed appearance on Wednesday.

Hopefully Congress will follow through on the threats of contempt followed by actual jail time against Strzok and Page in response to their uncooperative behavior and failure to appear when subpoenaed, if only to ensure that future witnesses called before Congress for sensitive or contentious hearings don’t think they can get away with the same sort of behavior.

TEA PARTY TARGET

Cops Sent To Seize Veteran’s Guns Without A Warrant, He Refused To Turn Them Over

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” says Leonard Cottrell, after successfully staving off law enforcement and the courts from confiscating his firearms. Cottrell, an Iraq War veteran, was at work when he received a phone call from his wife. The cops were there, busting in to take his guns away. It all started after a casual conversation his son had at school.

Ammoland reports:

Police said their visit was sparked by a conversation that Leonard Cottrell Jr.’s 13-year-old son had had with another student at the school. Cottrell said he was told his son and the other student were discussing security being lax and what they would have to do to escape a school shooting at Millstone Middle School.

The conversation was overheard by another student, who went home and told his parents, and his mother panicked. The mom then contacted the school, which contacted the State Police, according to Cottrell.

The visit from the troopers came around 10 p.m. on June 14, 2018, Cottrell said, a day after Gov. Phil Murphy signed several gun enforcement bills into law.

After several hours, Cottrell said police agreed not to take the guns but to allow him to move them to another location while the investigation continued.

“They had admitted several times that my son made no threat to himself or other students or the school or anything like that,” he said.

Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was “not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing.”

The troopers searched his son’s room and found nothing, Cottrell said.

“To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” he said. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

“In the Garden State, the usual approach is to confiscate first and ask questions later, and victims of this approach often don’t know their rights. ‎In this case, the victim pushed back and confiscation was avoided — but the circumstances surrounding the incident are outrageous. A student expressing concern over lack of security is not a reason to send police to the student’s home — but it might be a reason to send police to the school to keep students and teachers safe” said Scott L. Bach, executive director of the Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs and a member of the NRA board of directors.

NJ.com adds:

Cottrell, a disabled U.S. Army veteran who served three tours during “Operation Iraqi Freedom,” owns a shotgun and a pistol. He has all the correct permits to own the firearms, he said, and predominately uses the shotgun to hunt.

He said his wife allowed the officers to enter the home, and with her permission, they searched his son’s room — but they did not find any weapons, he said. The officers, he said, didn’t have a warrant but still wanted to take his guns. Cottrell wouldn’t let them.

“No one from the state was going to take my firearms without due process,” he said Thursday.

He said the attempted seizure resulted because of a new law Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law that makes it easier for police to confiscate guns when someone in the state poses a threat to themselves or others. The law is part of a broader statewide effort to make New Jersey’s gun laws even tougher amid the national outcry for more gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Cottrell said the officers “danced around the issue” when he confronted them about the new law.

A New Jersey State Police spokesman declined to answer questions about whether this incident had anything to do with the new gun laws.

In an email, Sgt. First Class Jeff Flynn said, “Troopers responded to Mr. Cottrell’s residence in reference to the report of a possible school threat. Based on their investigation, it was determined that Mr. Cottrell’s weapons did not need to be seized.”

David Codrea, writing for Ammoland, further added:

To appease everybody, I had my firearms stored someplace else,” New Jersey gun owner and Army veteran Leonard Cottrell Jr. told New Jersey 101.5 after a June 14 visit from State Police,. “That way, during the course of the investigation, my son doesn’t have access to them and it’s on neutral ground and everything and everybody’s happy.”

Cottrell was recalling state troopers showing up at his door to confiscate firearms after his 13-year-old son was overheard discussing lax school safety with a friend.

Indoctrinated by a pervasive snitch culture — one that never seems to deter the blatantly obvious demonic nutjobs — the eavesdropping student told his parents, who told school administrators, who in turn called the cops. (Note “If you see something, say something” carries risks of its own – if you report the wrong person, you could end up smeared as a “hater.”)

“Cottrell said he made it very clear to the police that he was ‘not going to willingly give up my constitutional rights where there’s no justifiable cause, no warrants, no nothing,’” the report continued. Despite that, his home is now a “gun free zone” and that has been publicized by the media. He has, in fact, willingly ceded those rights, and by his own words in order to make authorities “happy.”

Before judging him for that, consider the environment that is New Jersey. Then consider the overwhelming force the state can bring to bear, and its predisposition to using it, especially if it’s to enforce citizen disarmament. It’s easy to anonymously declare “Molon Labe” on the internet. In meatspace, resistance is more effective when the aggressor doesn’t get to dictate the time and place, especially if that place is your home and you have family inside.

Appeasing gun-grabbers, generally couched as “compromise,” is impossible. It’s like throwing a scrap of flesh to a circling pack of jackals and expecting them to be sated and leave you alone — instead of sensing opportunity and fear, and moving in closer.

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