Did SCOTUS Just Authorize the World’s First Non-Sales Tax?

Let me get this straight: The Commerce Clause does not give the Government power to mandate that you purchase insurance, but the Taxing Clause gives it the power to “lay and collect taxes” on you if you don’t. I’ve heard of sales taxes. This may very well be the world’s first non-sales tax.

Here’s the text of the Supreme Court’s decision on Obamacare.

Johnny Cash at Explo ’72

If you don’t read John Fea’s blog everyday, you’re missing out on gems like this recording of Johnny Cash at Explo ’72, a Campus Crusade event that has been dubbed “the evangelical Woodstock.” Billy Graham spoke, and featured artists included Love Song, Larry Norman, Randy Matthews, The Archers, Children of the Day, Johnny Cash, and Kris Kristofferson. (Kris Kristofferson? Really?) Take a listen, and start reading John’s blog daily.

YouTube has a whole bunch of Explo ’72 recordings here.

The Founders Were ‘Theistic Rationalists,’ not Orthodox Christians or Deists

I’ve just finished reading the first chapter of Gregg L. Frazer’s The Religious Beliefs of America’s Founders: Reason, Revelation, and Revolution. Here’s his concluding (and summary) paragraph on “theistic rationalism”:

Theistic rationalism was an elite understanding of the eighteenth century, shared by the key Founders and by many preachers. A gentle, hopeful, and nondenominational belief system that borrowed from Christianity and from deism, it never became the property of the masses. But it equipped elites to describe the projects of the Revolution and the Founding in terms that did not offend popular religion. If it never conquered the evangelical spirit of popular Christianity nor wholly displaced orthodox and traditional religion, it nevertheless was enormously influential in reshaping religious understandings in a way that made them welcoming of revolution, republicanism, and rights. If American can be both religious and republican today, it is partly because the Founders, in their day, were theistic rationalists.

I know David Barton would not approve of Frazer’s characterization of the Founders, but I wonder what John Fea would think?

Security forces close down AG church in Iran

From AG News:

Mon, 11 Jun 2012 – 6:17 PM CST

Iranian security forces closed down the Jannat Abad Church, an Assemblies of God church in Tehran, this past week, leaving the 100-member church without a home this weekend.

Reports state that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s Intelligence branch gave the order to close the building on Tuesday, June 5. Currently, only three Farsi-speaking churches remain in Tehran – including the Assemblies of God Central Church of Tehran, which is reportedly also being pressured, a Presbyterian and an Evangelical church.

The forced closing of this AG church follows the forced closing of another AG church in December 2011 in Ahvaz, Iran, where the entire congregation was arrested and interrogated.

Several months ago, Dr. George Wood, AG general superintendent, met with President Obama concerning his administration speaking forcefully to Iranian leaders about religious rights, mentioning Yousef Nadarkhani, a Christian pastor who Iranian courts sentenced to death on charges of apostasy (abandoning Islam). It is believed at least 20 other Christians are being held behind bars due to their faith in Christ.

“Believers in Iran and many other parts of the world literally place their livelihoods, their lives and their families’ lives on the line every time they enter their church’s doors,” states Greg Mundis, executive director of AG World Missions. “We need to faithfully intercede for our brothers and sisters who are suffering so greatly for the name and cause of Christ.”

Wood echoes Mundis’ thoughts and concerns, stating that prayer is absolutely essential for the persecuted church. “We also need to continue to make our political leaders aware of the situation of the persecution of Christians world-wide and request local media begin covering the tragic story of the deprivation of human rights in respect to religious freedom that is occurring all over the world.”

For more information about the persecuted church, see worldmissions.ag.org and search for “persecuted church.”

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