Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Will Jesus’ Tomb Bury Christianity on Capitol Hill?

The atmosphere here on Capitol Hill is growing more and more hostile toward the people of God as the new congressional leadership hunkers down for a long siege against religion. The new secularists on the Hill see religion as a threat to their political agenda and philosophy—and boy, are we feeling the heat!

Now comes another boost to embolden the enemies of faith. Filmmaker James Cameron (of Titanic fame) has partnered with a discredited investigative journalist and self-proclaimed Indiana Jones to make a Discovery Channel documentary purportedly proving Jesus never rose from the grave.

In a recent New York news conference to hype “The Lost Tomb of Jesus,” Cameron and his business partners displayed what they claimed were stone boxes (called ossuaries) that once contained the bones of Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ “wife.” They say the boxes were part of a larger find that included other bone boxes for Jesus’ mother, Mary, and his “son” Judah.

Amazingly, the story follows closely novelist Dan Brown’s fictitious tale The Da Vinci Code, later made into a blockbuster film staring Tom Hanks. How amazingly “coincidental” that this supposedly colossal story would break just as we approach Easter, the celebration of Jesus’ Resurrection. Of course, it’s Mr. Cameron’s intent to cast doubt on that pivotal event for Christians.

I’ve done a lot of interviews on this subject during the last week. I talked about it on my Faith and Action Live missionary field report, too. I’ve also posted a lot of material about it on our Faith and Action website. ( While it doesn’t intersect precisely with our mission on Capitol Hill, the story most certainly affects it indirectly. Here’s how: Since the change in congressional leadership and—as many believe—the specter of a Democratic White House in ’09, the anti-Christian sentiments here have exploded exponentially. This kind of attack—especially by Hollywood—suggests to the secular elite that Christian cultural moorings are giving way. They’re looking for anything that will help “finish us off.”

I did all I could to demonstrate this story is not what it appears to be. It’s a farce, and I proved it by presenting the facts. To my utter amazement, two days after I launched my first response, none other than the Washington Post agrees! Today reporter Alan Cooperman had a headline story on page A3 entitled, “’Lost Tomb of Jesus’ Claim Called A Stunt.” Believe it or not, I’m urging my circle of friends to read and distribute this article—it’s the best yet at debunking this story. (

Thank you Mr. Cooperman for an excellent expose of this modern-day circus sideshow!

Just before I went on the Internet today, I dashed across the street to the Supreme Court where the justices heard arguments for and against President Bush’s program on Faith Based Initiatives. US Solicitor General Paul Clement (a believer) argued for the President and the Administration in support of funding faith based social programs. Outside the courthouse I caught up with my good friend Jay Sekulow who was very involved in this case. He felt it was a winner for our side. I later saw my erstwhile nemesis, Barry Lynn, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. He seemed resigned to a loss. I affectionately slapped him on the back and told him (with tongue in cheek), “Barry, you’ve got to keep the faith!” I told the same thing to a representative of the Beltway Atheists who agreed it was a loser for him and his fellow religion haters. (This was the guy who authored his group’s slogan, “Stabbing religion in the neck with a screwdriver.”) I always treat these guys with the love of Christ, as St. Paul said, “Heaping hot coals on their heads.” More importantly, we love them in Christ, waiting for that breakthrough moment when their soul cries out for Living Water!

Last item of the day: After public comments I made about Governor Mitt Romney’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS), one of our Faith and Action supporters—a member of the LDS himself—invited me into a dialogue on things religious. I took him up on it and spent more than an hour with him this afternoon. It was a delightful exchange. I learned a lot about LDS beliefs that I didn’t know previously. I’ve also been invited to a gathering where Utah Senator Orin Hatch will talk about his journey of faith in the LDS church. In both my teaching and practice of evangelism I have always asserted that gaining a hearing begins by listening. I figure it’s my turn to listen this time. After this experience, I’ll speak. Pray for me in this worthwhile endeavor. It’s our mutual intention not to try and proselytize one another, but simply talk to each other candidly. While I have enormous theological differences with the LDS, they are at the same time our allies in the struggle to reclaim moral sanity. So, if nothing else, I will come away with a better comprehension of what LDS people are all about. More on this as it moves along.

For now, I’m over and out!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Another hiatus since I’ve posted, but I’m determined to do more writing and posting. So, bear with me, I’m working on it!

Since I wrote last, a lot has happened. I’ve been to Florida twice. (I know, someone’s got to suffer!) Down and back for ministry in a new church in the Sarasota area: The Fellowship of Believers. What a warm and wonderful group of people! They were enormously generous in every way. Outside what I do here in Washington, DC, visiting and ministering in churches is one of the things I enjoy most. I love being with God’s people, sharing the vision of Faith and Action, and encouraging Christian Americans by reporting how God is answering their prayers for our nation’s leaders. If you’d like me to visit your church, please approach your leadership and ask them if I may come and give your congregation a first person missionary field report from our nation’s capital! (For more information, contact Allyson Black, our director of supporter relations at or call her at 202-546-8329, extension 104.)

While on my second trip to the Sunshine State, I hosted a lunch for new and old friends. We call these “Family Circles” because that’s exactly how I feel about our growing network of Faith and Action supporters—we’re family! Watch your E-mail for notice of an upcoming Family Circle breakfast, lunch or dinner in your area. The next Family Circle is a dinner in Lewes, Delaware, near Rehobeth Beach this Saturday, February 24. Again, contact Allyson Black for more information.

It was also on this second trip south that I participated in a private meeting with two of the top ’08 presidential contenders, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Arizona senator John McCain. I’ll talk about those interesting conversations on today’s Faith and Action Live! (You can listen to my special report at, "Radio Archives" on left-hand menu.) On other fronts, I ministered in the new and burgeoning Calvary Chapel South Orlando, pastored by Charles Nestor III, son to our long-time friend and colleague Dr. Charles Nestor of Lakeland. This is one great father-son duo!

(In case I’m confusing you on schedules, I had been down to Florida the weekend of Feb 10-11 for the visit to Fellowship of Believers church, returned to Washington for meetings, then flew back down for a full schedule of activity, Feb 14-19.)

I had a delightful but bitter-sweet surprise while I was in Sarasota on the second round. You may recall my sad odyssey among the Amish of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, last October following the tragic murder of five Amish schoolgirls. Many of our Faith and Action supporters were connected to that awful event because of how tight the Lancaster County community is, and because of family and business relationships. I spent nearly a week up there visiting the homes of both the shooter and the victims. It was a life-changing experience for me. You may have caught my telling of the story on Larry King Live, among other shows.

In any case, one of our Sarasota supporters told me the grandparents of seven-year old Naomi Rose Ebersole, one of the youngest of the Lancaster victims, keep a winter home in an Amish enclave of Sarasota. The grandparents, whom I had met in Lancaster on the day of their granddaughter’s funeral, heard I was in the area and invited me to visit with them, which I did. They told me of their pain, how the Lord is helping all of them heal, and showed me pictures of their beautiful little Naomi Rose. They went on to thank me profusely for the prayers sent in by Faith and Action supporters. We had printed out a selection from among the thousands that were sent to us by E-mail. We then placed them in binders that were later circulated among the victims’ families. Please continue to pray for these lovely people.

While I’m urging you to watch for things, do watch for upcoming articles and E-mails on our most recent struggle to maintain the display of the Ten Commandments in front of our ministry center here on Capitol Hill. A group called the “Beltway Atheists” has filed a complaint with the Government of the District of Columbia. They claim the government erred in issuing its legal opinion that we have a right under the First Amendment to display the Commandments. In spite of the Beltway Atheists’ motto, “Stabbing religion in the neck with a screwdriver since 2005,” they were granted a hearing before a DC government commission. The founder of the group told the commissioners I was required to obtain a permit for the sculpture in our garden. I responded by quoting the letter to us from the District of Columbia clearly stating that due to the First Amendment issues involved we are not NOT required to obtain such permits. There was no convincing them. The chairman has called for a continued investigation. Please pray—this is the same commission that voted against our display of the Commandments five years ago. So, the beat goes on.

There’s a lot more to tell you, but I’m sure this is all you can stand for now!

God bless—and I WILL be back.

Friday, February 16, 2007


Thoughts on Campaigns, Candidates and Athesists Who "Stab Religion in the Neck with a Screwdriver!"

It’s been a while since I’ve posted. Sorry, but it’s been a frenetic roller coaster these last two weeks. 12-hour days with interspersed ministry travel have sidelined me. But, I’m back!
The question I’m asked most these days is, "So what d’ya think of the campaigns and the candidates?" The second most asked is, "What about this Barack Obama?" I have answers for both.

As far as the campaigns, they are way too early. Campaigns distort reality. Too often, candidates say and do so many things during their campaigns that are not meant to benefit the country, but simply win the prize. Much of what we see at campaign stops, hear in interviews and read in essays and op-ed pieces have nothing to do with who the candidate really is or what he/she intends to do once in office. For this reason, I don’t think excruciatingly long campaigns serve the nation well.

That being said, there is a silver lining in this otherwise dark cloud: We each have time to do serious research. We can find out who these people really are, what they really believe and what their track record has been. With the Internet, it’s easier than ever.

I chose to start this scrutiny with Barack Obama for a number of reasons. He was the first to aggressively attempt to engage the Evangelical community, of which I am a part. He was also the first to boldly invite a public conversation on religion—something I think is more than worthwhile. I took him up on the invitation; you can read what I discovered about his religious identity at (Scroll down to my article, "Barack Obama: Sheep or Goat?") There are, of course, so many more candidates and prospective candidates to explore. This weekend I meet in a closed door session with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, an apparent front-runner among GOP candidates. Governor Romney’s Mormon faith, reported spotty track record on moral issues and only recent conversion to the sanctity of life and marriage demand intense investigation. I plan to ask him the hard questions. Still, he holds great potential.

On the top moral issues, only one contender has a spotless history: Kansas senator Sam Brownback. I’ve known Sam for some time. He’s a champion for all things that really matter. He defended human life, the integrity of the family and religion in the public square long before it was a way to get Sunday talk show gigs. He’s the real deal. The problem with Sam is whether a senator can be elected (they’re the least favorites) and whether the party will back him. He’s always marched to a different drum. Sadly, that can hopelessly handicap him. But, as he told me before he went public, "I just felt God wanted me to do this, whether I win or not." I’ve felt from the beginning Sam’s role is as prophetic witness to Truth, no matter who emerges as the frontrunner. I told the Washington Post, Sam’s greatest contribution will be to anchor the morality of the Republican Party. That will be critical, particularly with Rudy in the race—a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual political ally. Notwithstanding, his commanding presence during 9-11 just may carry him across the finish line.

Giuliani is a case all his own. I lived in New York, my parents are both New Yorkers (Dad from Manhattan; Mom from Brooklyn), and I visit the Big Apple routinely. New York is unlike anywhere else in the U.S.—and Rudy is unlike any other politician. I’m not sure he can make it work for those reasons, but it’s his personal relationships and personal morality that concern me most. I must give the point to Barack Obama for admitting he was untruthful when he claimed early on that his religious beliefs didn’t affect his policy decisions. He "came clean," so-to-speak, when he confessed that in fact they did animate both his ideas and actions. Ruddy should tell us what animates him.

All this goes for all the candidates—democrats, republicans, independents, socialists, greens and whoever else we may have out there by the time things really rev up. For Christians, what matters most is exactly what matters most: The paramount moral issues. We need to do diligence and exhaustively research what these candidates have said and done on the three biggies: Sanctity of Life, Sanctity of Marriage and the Public Acknowledgement of God. If the candidates don’t have these points of the moral compass straight, all their other equations and trajectories will be off. You can’t navigate the complex roads of life, individually or corporately, with faulty vectors.

Do your research carefully and prayerfully. Go on the Internet and find original source material: 1) The words of the candidates themselves, 2) Their voting records, 3) What other close observers have written about them, and 4) What their friends and enemies say about them. Then pry for wisdom, which God promises to give you "liberally."

I was at a lovely church this past Sunday and a woman said to me, "I watched Barack Obama with his beautiful wife on Oprah Winfrey, and they seemed so nice and beautiful. He just seemed like someone we could get behind." Good looks, intelligence, charm, bright smiles and good humor make for a pleasant seat-mate on a long flight, but it doesn’t necessarily make a good chief executive for the most powerful nation on earth. We shouldn’t elect presidents for their charisma and star-power. We need a chief executive who understands and is utterly committed to the Constitution of the United States that secures those God-given rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence, the first of which is "Right to Life."
Hillary, of course, needs to commentary. She’s an all-too-well-known quantity, and she ain’t changing.

Honorable (or dishonorable) mention goes to some others: Arkansas governor Mike Hukabee, a good guy with no name recognition. Same can be said for California congressman Duncan Hunter. On the Dem side, runners include Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, the highly unusual Rep. Dennis Kusinich of Ohio, Sen. Joseph Biden. There are others I can’t remember. If you can’t either, it probably says a lot about their chances.

It’s going to be a long road—I fear a nearly intolerably long road—to November, 2008, but let’s use it wisely. I’ve already met and talked with three of the candidates, and my aim is to meet face-to-face with all of them. I’ll let you know what I find.

On a related matter: The counter assault against those of us who publish the facts has begun and it’s ugly. One of our own close allies is the subject of a clever slander and libel attack on the popular Somebody with a little tech-savvy concocted a video clip taken from a long-ago news conference, mimicked his voice and has him obscenely insulting a national Christian leader. Unless you really study it, you can’t tell whether it’s for real or not. Of course, I’ve known this person for many, many years and know full well he never said such a thing and never would. This is just one diabolically ingenious way of discrediting us before our "truth-telling" even begins.

In my next post, I’ll tell you about the newest attack against our Ten Commandments display in the front garden of our ministry house across the street from the Supreme Court. This time it comes, believe it or not, from the "Beltway Atheists," whose slogan is "Stabbing religion in the neck with a screwdriver since 2005." What’s even more incredible is that the Government of the District of Columbia has granted them a number of private meetings and just recently a public hearing on their complaint against us.

Just imagine an organization with a slogan, "Stabbing gay people in the neck with a screwdriver since 2005."

God help us—and He will!

Back later.

Friday, February 02, 2007


The so-called “People for the American Way” (PFAW) routinely cites my brother Paul and me on their nasty “Right Wing Watch,” suggesting we are dangerous extremists. But for every finger PFAW points, there’s three pointing back at them: They are unabashedly pro-abortion, anti-traditional marriage and utterly Godless.

Yesterday, Faith and Action program director Dane Rose and I spied PFAW president Ralph Neas in the US Senate dining room. He sported a huge Cheshire Cat grin. No doubt why; with all the top PFAW Hall of Fame senators now in firm control of the upper house, his long frustrations are over. While Neas previously criticized “the right’s” influence on the majority, there will be no such standard applied to the left. In Neas’ view of the world, the left can do no wrong. The left is always “right.” God help us.

Speaking of God helping us, He certainly has through you. Many of our friends responded generously to our appeal for prayers and financial contributions to steel ourselves for the assaults that have already begun. As I told you in a recent E-mail release, it began when a group I meet with weekly in the US Capitol was thrown out. Bear with me while I give you the whole story:

This Thursday morning breakfast club has been meeting in the US Capitol for 35 years. It is made up of some of the best “God and Country” people in Washington. Sponsored by a different senator each year, the club exists for mutual fellowship and to honor the US Capitol Police for its service to our nation. We begin each meeting with a prayer. (As the club's de facto “chaplain," I'm often privileged to deliver it.) Then we recite the Pledge of Allegiance, someone gives a two-minute “Flag Talk” on a patriotic theme, and we listen to a guest speaker. (Among our speakers we've had everyone from the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Supreme Court justices to best-selling authors.) I joined the club five years ago after one of its prominent members invited me as a guest. I later ended up a speaker, and finally as a board member.

Among our club members are numerous heroes. For example, long-time member and retired US Army general Mil Roberts. His harrowing story of storming the Normandy beaches as a 19-year old makes the film Saving Private Ryan look like Disney pap.

As a hail of bullets rained down on Mil, he waded through waters filled with soldiers drowned after their own inflatable life-belts turned them upside down with 60 pounds of gear on their shoulders. Once on the beach, he hid under the bodies of dead comrades, disassembled his sand-encrusted rifle, cleaned and reassembled it, then emerged to fire back, scale a severe bluff with his hands and zigzag his way behind enemy lines where he did a lot of good for America and a lot of damage to the Nazi enemy.

Now Mil and the rest of us are out in the cold. We’re in a sort of exile after California Senator Dianne Feinstein took charge of the Rules Committee that dictates use of US Capitol venues. Our club used to meet in a small private dining room just inside the east Senate entry to the Capitol building. No sooner had the libs taken charge than we were expelled. Ostensibly, the room was needed for other events. But our scouts have confirmed the room has been dark and empty since our eviction.

The old-timers in the group know this is punishment for our leaning conservative. As I said, it’s a “God and Country” bunch. While all of them are not traditional Bible-believing Christians, many are and the rest are good church people. They pray, love their spouses, kids and grandkids and they adore our country. Most have risked their lives to protect our freedoms and some bear the scars of it. Yet, they’re not Ralph Neas’ type, and, after-all, he’s now a king-maker!

The assaults against those who pray to God and love our country don’t stop at the US Capitol door, however. The ascendancy of the Left has emboldened every radical secularist in Washington. The “Beltway Atheists” I told you about back when we first installed the monument of the Ten Commandments in front of our ministry center have returned with a vengeance. I’ll wait till another day to give you all the details. Suffice it to say, they see a new opportunity to nullify our legal victory to display the Commandments in front of our building and they are acting on it; more on this in a future blog.

These are the reasons we really need your prayers and help. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been in office only a few weeks and it seems all h*ll is already being loosed. We’re up for the fight. The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s. (See I Samuel 17:46-48.)

This coming week will be a very busy one. Watch for my summary next Friday—it’ll be a doozey!