The U.S. Supreme Court may hear cases next term about crosses at memorial sites like the 9/11 museum, several of which have active cases in lower courts to decide whether or not the presence of these crosses is Constitutional or not.
Of those arguing to have one or another of the crosses removed, some cite their personal offense, some cite exclusion of other religions (like the Mt. Soledad Cross in Sandiego – displaying a distinctly Christian symbol on public land to honor all Korean War veterans – many of whom were not Christian).
Although, in an opinion in a similar case in 2010, Justice Kennedy wrote:
“[A] Latin cross . . . is a symbol often used to honor and respect those whose heroic acts…help secure an honored place in history for this Nation and its people. Here, one Latin cross…evokes far more than religion. It evokes thousands of small crosses in foreign fields marking the graves of Americans who fell in battles, battles whose tragedies are compounded if the fallen are forgotten.”
Faith and Action’s Rev. Rob Schenck and Rev. Pat Mahoney have previously visited both the San Diego and Mohave Desert (the one referenced by Justice Kennedy above) crosses to organize pastoral response and lead prayer services at critical times in each of those cases in the past.
This issue directly relates to Faith and Action’s mission as it has a strong chance of coming here to Washington by way of the courts (culminating at the Supreme Court) or by way of congressional debate and possible legislative action.
It is certainly also an issue that deserves the time, attention and prayers of every Christian in America. We’ll continue to follow it, and explore the questions at hand. We invite you to share a thought or prayer in the comments, and follow along with us.
It’s the duty of the chief executive to keep Congress informed on how our country is doing and what he thinks would make things better. That’s what the annual State of the Union (or SOTU) is all about. Based on that Constitutional mandate, you judge by the transcript whether President Obama carried out his duty this week. But, before you read the very length SOTU, here’s a video link to the response given this year by Republican congresswoman from Washington State, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers:
For a written transcript of the State of the Union:
Always interested in your thoughts. Write me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Who Will Stare Down the President During His State of the Union Speech?
I suppose a lot of people will stare down President Obama—or maybe just avert their eyes—during his State of the Union speech this week. I know that a lot of my readers just don’t like this guy or his policies. Notwithstanding, I do hope all my friends watch the event—and the response of his opposing party that follows. (Not that many of you can stand that side of things, either!) Of course, I’m also aware I do have a few admirers of the President among my loyal circle, but you are a rare breed!
In any case, the President’s address to Congress (that we all get to eavesdrop on, compliments of the media and the internet) is an important civic exercise in our country, and one we should all know about. As the Chief Justice said recently, the speech is a craven political act, but it is very important none-the-less. After all, what should we expect politicians to be if not political?
The one thing I’m sure the media will not point out about the “SOTU” (as the speech is called in Washington-speak) is the fact that at least one prominent personality will stare down the President during the entirety of his address. Furthermore, no one will be able to stop the stare-down—not the Sergeant-at-Arms, not the U.S. Capitol police officers present, not the Secret Service agents attending to the presidential security detail, not the U.S. marshals watching the cabinet officers, not the ushers in the aisles.
No one will be able to do anything about this single heckler who will haunt the President’s conscience. Why? Because this single provocateur has held his position high above the reach of any guard since 1950. You might say he’s a fixture in government—and you’d be right–literally AND figuratively.
He is Moses, the Great Law Giver, and he is the only full-face bas relief sculpture of the 23 that adorn the majestic House Chamber. (Sure, there are other lawgivers memorialized on the walls, but they’re all side silhouettes looking to the Great Man of Sinai!) Moses is also the only famous ancient lawgiver that sits diametrically opposite of the rostrum where the President will stand to deliver his speech. In other words, it’s impossible for anyone at that podium to avoid his piercing eyes.
Most years I’m in the chamber to witness this intriguing spectacle myself. Sometimes I’ve sat directly under the Mosaic portrait and observed the furtive glances upward by more than one president. Some looked reassured to have the human author of Torah with him in the chamber. Others looked unnerved by his presence.
This year I’m on the road so I won’t be in the Capitol, but I will be watching on TV and posting about the speech on Facebook. Visit me there at https://www.facebook.com/rob.schenck and join in the conversation. I invite you to post your own comments about the State of the Union, provided they comport with the apostolic admonition in 1 Timothy 2:1-2:
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
Let’s watch, let’s pray, and let’s let God do His work on our President’s heart and mind (and on the hearts of everyone else in that chamber) as Moses bears witness to the Truth of Christ (John 5:46) in a way none of us could do–at least not at the State of the Union!
See you on Facebook!
September 7, 2012
In the work I do as your missionary to top government officials here in Washington, D.C., I’m regularly humbled by the surprising opportunities I get to share the Gospel in unlikely places. Over the last two weeks I’ve been in Tampa and participated in many of the key events both at the Republican and Democratic Party conventions. I was there for several of the major speeches and listened intently to the “behind-the-scenes” conversations of the party officials and delegates. My mission’s not partisan; it’s simply to be faithful to God and declare the Gospel without compromise.
I’m also humbled by the trust you put in me. I can’t even find words to say thanks to you for that. I never take you or your friendship for granted. I’m deeply grateful to God for every name on our list of supporters: friends—just like you—living on farms, in small towns, and in big cities all across America. I’m the sent, but you are the sender.
At the RNC in Tampa I stayed in touch with you daily. I know you didn’t hear from me in Charlotte at the DNC but believe me, there’s a reason. I’ll have a lot more to say on that this Monday. Watch for my email!
In the meantime, pray for our nation—and pray for us as well. We’re preparing for two months of intensive ministry leading up to the election—perhaps some of the most important in our history in Washington, D.C. We will not back down in declaring the truth to those in power! We will not be intimidated! The stakes are too high, too important!
We’re praying for you and I’ll be in touch on Monday.
Your missionary to our nation’s capital,
Rev. Rob Schenck
August 1, 2012 – Today, Faith and Action presents good news and bad news on the healthcare crisis in America.
Today, a Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate goes into effect. This order issued under provisions in President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act forces employers, regardless of their religious or moral convictions, to provide insurance covering abortion-inducing drugs and voluntary sterilizations and other immoral treatments under threat of heavy penalties.
Last week, Faith and Action president Rev. Rob Schenck and Mrs. Cheryl Schenck attended the Evangelical Church Alliance annual meeting in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Rob chairs ECA’s Committee on Church and Society and gave his report on the health insurance crisis for religious organizations, calling Evangelical missionaries, ministers and military chaplains to righteous resistance against this unjust law. He also delivered his annual missionary field report to the full convention.
In February, a State of Emergency Declaration by Rob was delivered to President Obama, and you can read the letter by clicking here. While receipt of the letter was acknowledged, President Obama neglected to recognize the letter’s content and the National Clergy Council’s concerns about religious liberty.
However, there is hope because Hercules Industries, a for-profit business owned by the Newland family in Colorado, has won a preliminary injunction against the HHS/Obama mandate in federal court. This family is Catholic and they employ 265 persons full-time.
Friday, Alliance Defending Freedom, the law firm representing the plaintiffs in Newland v. Sebelius, announced that Senior Judge John Kane of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado ruled the federal government’s arguments “are countered, and indeed outweighed, by the public interest in the free exercise of religion. As the Tenth Circuit has noted, ‘there is a strong public interest in the free exercise of religion even where that interest may conflict with [another statutory scheme]….’ Accordingly, the public interest favors entry of an injunction in this case.” Judge Kane also wrote that the government’s “harm pales in comparison to the possible infringement upon Plaintiffs’ constitutional and statutory rights.”
Read Judge Kane’s entire ruling by clicking here.
Meanwhile, Paul McGuire, Christian author of the 2010 book “Are You Ready for the Microchip?”, warns: “In the massive U.S. healthcare bill, which your elected representatives voted for without reading, there is a section titled: Subtitle C-11 Sec. 2521 – National Medical Device Registry which states:
“The Secretary shall establish a national medical device registry (in this subsection referred to as the ‘registry’) to facilitate analysis of postmarket safety and outcomes data on each device that—‘‘(A) is or has been used in or on a patient; and ‘‘(B) is a class III device; or ‘‘(ii) a class II device that is implantable.”
McGuire further explains: “The language is deliberately vague, but it provides the structure for making America the first nation in the world that would require every U.S. citizen to receive an implanted radio-frequency (RFID) microchip for the purpose of controlling medical care.”
As always, Rev. Rob Schenck urges all Americans to keep the faith and fight the good fight. And as Rob travels the country encouraging Christians to engage in the political process; as he engages our national leaders and presidential candidates on your behalf, please click here to join Faith and Action’s ministry as Rob requests in Let Your Voice Be Heard Loud & Clear!
God bless America!
June 28, 2012
6:45 PM ET
Like so many, I was disappointed at the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold President Obama’s healthcare law. My concern is not directed at the issue of health care itself. As the wealthiest nation in the world, affordable health care should be available to every citizen. It is one thing, however, to be certain health care is available; it is quite another to force people to buy insurance, at times in direct violation of their religious beliefs.
Throughout the day, I’ve been in discussions with leading constitutional experts, members of congress, constitutional historians, and religious leaders. The struggle facing people of faith has changed dramatically from what it was at 9:59 this morning. This opinion may allow the government to compel people to pay into the system, but it can’t compel any of us to abandon our most deeply held convictions. This is a moral, spiritual and ethical crisis.
At this point in American history, at Faith and Action we now call upon people of all faiths to engage in “righteous resistance” to being forced to offer employees abortion-inducing drugs or any benefits in direct violation of deeply held religious beliefs.
You will hear more about this in the days ahead. Please pray for us as we strive to challenge people of faith to remember it is “better to obey God than men.”
Of course, everything we do depends upon the prayers and support of our friends—like you. If you haven’t had an opportunity yet to help with our urgent need to support our staff so they can take care of their families during this trying time, you can do so now with a generous tax-deductible gift by clicking here. Whatever you are able to give is deeply appreciated—perhaps now more than ever.
Your grateful missionary to our nation’s capital,
PS: Take a moment to participate in our survey regarding our response to today’s decision. To complete the survey, click here.
June 28, 2012 – Rev. Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action and president of the National Clergy Council, first prayed before the Supreme Court released its decision; then condemned government actions codifying and upholding President Obama’s unconstitutional mandates.
See Rob’s encouraging statement to people of faith and goodwill by clicking here.
June 28, 2012 – Today, the United States Supreme Court released its majority decision upholding President Obama’s Patient Protect and Affordable Health Care Act. The ministry team at Faith and Action expresses profound disappointment with the Court’s decision, which will ultimately result in government-funded abortions.
Teams from Faith and Action actively prayed and served as a prophetic witness in front of the Court the entire time the arguments were being heard. The day before the arguments, we encircled the Court with prayer, placing 3,300 flowers on the sidewalks around the Court as a reminder of the number of innocent babies killed every day in America as a result of abortion on demand. Photos of our teams engaged in prayer were featured in newspapers across America.
Responding to the Court’s decision, Rev. Rob Schenck (last name pronounced Shank), lead missionary of Faith and Action, president of the National Clergy Council and one of the only evangelical leaders inside the Court during the arguments, challenges people of faith to stay true to their convictions.
Rev. Schenck stated, “This opinion may allow the government to compel people to pay into the system, but it can’t compel any of us to abandon our most deeply held convictions. This is a moral, spiritual and ethical crisis. People of conscience will need to make difficult decisions, including engaging in conscientious objection or even respectful civil disobedience, which may bring painful penalties with it. It’s time to be prayerful, brave and strong. From here on we will need help from God and from one another.”
Rob condemns the government’s actions on video below.
Media may call Rev. Schenck for comment at (202) 546-8329.
June 27, 2012 – Emergency message from Rev. Rob Schenck on his way to Washington for the Supreme Court’s ruling on President Obama’s healthcare law. He talks about the sweeping importance of this ruling and because we can’t afford to pay for our staff’s health insurance. This is especially poignant as our chief of program, Peggy Nienaber, recovers from surgery on her foot. As you can see in our previous report, Peggy doesn’t let the cast hold her back from praying at the Supreme Court.
June 26, 2012
On the eve of what will likely be the most momentous day at the Supreme Court since the Bush v. Gore case–and maybe since Roe v. Wade–your missionary team at Faith and Action is gearing up in prayer. If the decision on President Obama’s health insurance law is handed down tomorrow morning, we will be right there–at the High Court–to respond with a prophetic word to the nation!
In fact, we’ve been holding vigil this whole week. Our team has been on site, kneeling in prayer, preaching the Word of God, and proclaiming biblical truth out in the open and behind the scenes. And, we did more than that: We joined in a formal petition to the justices urging them to strike down this unconstitutional law that violates religious freedom and the right of conscience. This is why God called us here 18 years ago–and why we’ve remained even through the most difficult trials of faith.
But–as we expected–just as we’re gearing up for this historic, spiritual battle for the soul of our civilization, we have come under severe attack. The enemy has hit us again where it really hurts. Just today our accountant told me we have completely run out of money. In a supreme–and satanic–twist of irony, we can’t even pay our own staff’s health insurance premiums! THERE IS NO DOUBT IN MY MIND THIS IS THE DEVIL’S WAY OF MOCKING AND DEMORALIZING US!
Well, I will not stand for it. The great Reformer Martin Luther, when he was tormented by demonic forces, threw his beer stein at the devil–and that’s what I’m doing! (Well, it’s not my beer stein–because I don’t own one–but it’s whatever I can get my hands on!) 18 years ago, when I first landed as a newly commissioned missionary on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., a crusty old-timer warned me, “You may have the best intentions here, young man, but money will be your doom. You can’t afford to operate here. The cost of doing business in this town will shut you down in a heartbeat. It’s just a matter of time and you’ll be high-tailin’ it outta here!”
At that moment, I made a covenant with God. I said, “Lord, I will never let money determine whether I do your work or not. If I have to, I’ll live out of my car trunk–or under a bridge–but I will not surrender.”
By the grace of God–and the generosity of His people–I’m still here 18 years later! And I’ll be with my team at the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow morning come you-know-what or high water! But you can make it a little easier for all of us by making an immediate online tax-deductible gift of $20, $35, $50, $100, or whatever you can afford by clicking here.
We need it–right now! Our team works hard for far–far–less money than they’d make in the secular world. That’s how committed they are to this mission. But how can I ask them to go to the Court and stand against the tyranny of government enforced insurance–when I can’t afford to pay their private insurance premiums? It’s a cruel satanic mockery of what we are doing. But your gift–at this moment–will let us laugh in the face of the enemy!
When you stand with us we can fight back–and throw whatever we’ve got at the devil and his minions!
Please pray for us–and make your tax-deductible gift online right now by clicking here.
You’ve been so kind to this ministry in the past, I have no doubt that before I speak in front of the Supreme Court tomorrow morning, our accountant will call me to say, “Jehovah Jireh!–God is our Provider!”
Thank you for being part of our ministry team. Words will never be adequate to convey our gratitude to God and to you!
Your deeply grateful missionary at the Supreme Court,
Rev. Rob Schenck