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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Restoring faith-based alternatives in the arts

The death of pop star Whitney Houston has increased the wildfire surrounding the shady functioning of the music and movie industries, as well as what some might call their blatant disregard for human souls. Houston was not the first to fall to the music industry’s subculture of drugs that so often gets the attention of the mainstream media, but she is one of the most recent as of this writing. Many have spoken up on her behalf saying that she was not a person who wanted to be living an immoral lifestyle, but that she was a Christian woman desiring to know God on a deeper level who was trying to get delivered from the grip of drug addiction.

R&B superstar Chaka Khan had a close friendship with Huston, and according to CBN, accused the music industry of being downright “demonic” shortly after the news about Houston’s death went public.

Gospel music singer Helen Baylor is also boldly speaking out about the darkness of the music industry, and she isn’t stopping with the secular music industry. Baylor has been willing to be rather vulnerable about her own struggles in relation to the influence of the music industry and drug addiction in her life, even as she admonishes that the Gospel music industry isn’t very far behind the secular in terms of where it’s headed. She claims that the focus has become misdirected over the years in the sense that Gospel music has become a form of entertainment rather than a means of ministering to people. The mindset of using Christian music as a tool to help people focus on drawing closer to God has given way to a market-driven mentality of appealing to the approval of the masses as Christian artists are put on worldly pedestals.

Even back in the 1990s, Christian music that was played on many radio stations was more rooted in the Word than much of what is being played today. This also gave people a chance to be more familiar with what the Word actually said and have more of a moral compass to guide them in their daily living. But as the music became more commercialized for the masses, the concept of Word-based lyrics became less of a focus. That being said, it seems that much of today’s church struggles with understanding why praise and worship is important, and there is a growing sentiment that it’s only people who are musicians and singers who really experience the presence of God through that venue anyway.

However, if that were truly the case, there wouldn’t be passages like 2 Chronicles chapter 5 verses 13-14 in which the praise and worship music was so rich with the presence of God that the priests couldn’t continue ministering because the glory of the Lord was so powerful in the temple. There was a visible cloud representing the presence of the Lord that filled that place, and it wasn’t just the singers and musicians who saw it. Everyone saw it. The church needs to realize that we are being called to return to a focus of using praise and worship as a means to worship God in Spirit and in truth. But the music industry is only one aspect of the arts in need of restoration.

Back in the 30s and 40s when the movie industry was one of the hottest new technologies that was becoming available to people, Christians were heavily involved in what made it into the theaters and what didn’t. Not only were Americans in that generation, and especially small business owners, more concerned about living a moral life, but they were also deeply concerned with running their business in accordance with Christian principles. And much of the movie industry was no exception.

In his book How to Succeed in Hollywood Without Losing Your Soul, Ted Baehr notes that Christian groups had gotten together and created a motion picture code that Hollywood applied to their movies so that those movies would not negatively affect the culture. Then in 1966, the Christian groups pulled out, and today we have instances of the moral values of individual actors and actresses being violated to the point that some have chosen to refuse a role or lose their job rather than compromise.

Actor Neal McDonough is one case in point. According to MovieGuide.org he boldly refused to do a sex scene in the ABC series “Scoundrels”. So they fired him.

Boldly taking a stand for what one believes is not necessarily an easy thing to do. Especially for those who don’t have a great deal of experience yet and credits are needed to build a resume for future opportunities. While these types of decisions are personal ones for each artist, it also seems appropriate to point out that God does reward those who take a stand for what’s right. And sometimes that even manifests in this life.

What He is doing through the cast of Courageous would be a case in point. Not only has it had a positive influence on individual lives and families, but it has done well at the box office.

Another positive influence in the arts is Leonardo Defilippis, founder of St Luke’s Productions. According to the website, God placed a vision in his heart to present the Gospel of Luke, “in a new dramatic form.” That was three decades ago. Since that time, the production company has grown to produce several inspirational films and original music soundtracks. Not only does Defilippis have a desire to be used of the Lord for evangelism, but also to restore the dignity of film, drama and television.

Rich Christiano, founder of ChristianMovies.com is another influence in the industry that God is moving through in mighty ways. According to his website, He has been creating Christian movies with his brother Dave since 1982, and distributing them since 1985.

The above are just a few examples of some of God’s people in the industry who are boldly responding to His Call to partner with Him in the area of restoring faith-based alternatives in the arts.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

What DC’s student loan and farm bills have in common

When considering how Congress has been running since Obama became president, one can’t help but ponder if the student loan bill and farm bill will eventually just have to be passed so that American can see what’s in them. Though neither of these are the size of the Obamacare bill, they certainly have the potential to become a crisis that DC libs won’t be wasting – especially with 2012 being an election year.

The student loan bill will be reaching crisis level first. As the House and Senate haggle over just how the meltdown of student loan interest rates will be contained, the proverbial needle moves steadily into the red warning zone of July 1. Democrats want the 6.8 percent hike paid for by a hike in the payroll taxes of private companies, according to CBS News. More specifically their Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Reid claims these companies are made up of “wealthy tax dodgers” anyway, and so taxing the very ones who can create jobs for all the unemployed college students is just the way to go. What a wonderfully logical plan: two bankrupt systems paying for another bankrupt system. Don’t you love how consistent the Dems are in their Keynesian economic thinking?

On the other hand, the Republicans want to pay for one bankrupt system with part of an illegitimate system that’s never had any true funding: Obamacare. Can you tell it’s an election year and America is one hot, economic mess?

The other closely looming crisis that won’t be wasted is the Farm bill. According to a video at AG Web, five year cyclical bill has a rather significant impact on SNAP (formerly food stamps), and a Huffington Post article from 2010 points out the major impact on “the efficiency of direct payments, disaster relief programs, crop insurance and conservation programs.”

Another interesting thing about the Farm bill is that is fits snugly into the green agenda of the global warming crowd in that there may be some fresh discussion regarding “an expanded ‘green payments’ program, which would reward farmers for environmental stewardship instead of placing the incentives on overproduction.”

This has the potential to open the door to the nationalization of the agricultural industry. And it’s not like such a thing hasn’t been done before. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez would be a relatively recent case in point. In October of 2010, Breitbart reported that Chavez planned a government take-over of Venezuela’s agricultural industry, and he started it with “the nationalization of land owned by a subsidiary of British meat products company Vestey, as he called for ‘acceleration of the agrarian revolution.’” The article goes on to state that “Chavez called for the acceleration of nationalizing agricultural assets across the country in coming months, including land and property owned by Venezuelan farming technology company Agroislena.

His reasoning is that such a government take-over will, “Free the land, free the slave labor, feed our people.” Keep in mind here that Chavez thinks that capitalism is why Venezuela has economic problems, and that nationalization is the solution to those economic issues.

There was a great deal of discussion about a bill nicknamed cap and trade back in 2010. When all the attention died down and some even declared it dead, it was quietly renamed “Nationwide Renewable-Electricity Standard,” or RES. Some may remember all the talk about the purchase of carbon permits and how damaging something like that would be to farms (and other industries) if it were implemented. When one considers that the Obama administration has already made moves to nationalize the healthcare industry through Obamacare and the banking industry through the Wall Street Reform legislation; it’s not that much of a stretch to consider the possibility of an attempt to nationalize the agricultural industry and even the energy industry.

The idea of “rewarding stewardship” through a “greener” environment can be connected to the Environmental Protection Agency; an organization that has set a goal for 59 million acres of farmland to be converted to forests within 40 years. A computerized economic model indicates that the move would be more profitable than producing food, but the profits would be the result of fewer crops, which would then drive up prices. A USA Today article from August of 2009 claims that both pasture and farm fields would be replaced with about 18 million acres of new trees by 2020, which would be “roughly the size of West Virginia.”

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has ordered his staff to revise the information projected by the Forest and Agricultural Sector Optimization Model (FASOM) which has caused considerable concern among the farmers and ranchers. Vilsack stated that “If landowners plant trees to the extent that the model suggests, this would be disruptive to agriculture in some regions of the country.” At the time, he pointed out that there were options not added in the cap and trade bill that would have increased the income of farmers as they continued producing food. The omissions caused the model to overestimate the actual effect of planting new forests.

Vilsack instructed his chief economist to collaborate with the EPA, review the model, update it, and develop options that would help prevent “unintended consequences for agriculture that might result from climate change legislation.”

Interestingly, back during the Great Depression there was a federal government project that involved planting acres of trees. According to a US history website , it was part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal program. The idea was to “recruit thousands of unemployed young men, enlist them in a peacetime army, and send them to battle the erosion and destruction of the nation’s natural resources. More than any other New Deal agency, the CCC (Civilian Conservation Core) is considered to be an extension of Roosevelt’s personal philosophy.” The proposed plan was rushed through the approval process, and the CCC gained the nickname of “Roosevelt’s Tree Army”. Since most of the unemployed people were on the east side of the nation and most of the work was on the west side, people were shipped off to work camps to perform the work. California alone had 150 camps. The website also states that, “The War Department mobilized the nation’s transportation system to move thousands of enrollees from induction centers to work camps.”

The article goes on to state that, “By 1935, however, there was, in the words of CCC director Fechner, a ‘complete segregation of colored and white enrollees,’ but ‘segregation is not discrimination.’” In addition, “An important modification became necessary early in 1933. It extended enlistment coverage to about 14,000 American Indians whose economic circumstances were deplorable and had mostly been ignored. Before the CCC was terminated, more than 80,000 Native Americans were paid to help reclaim the land that had once been theirs” (emphasis added). One could replace the words “American Indians” with “Illegal immigrants” and see yet another connection. One of the few requirements for participation was that a person had to be a US citizen – but then making all illegal immigrants legal through immigration reform could easily solve that problem. Even veterans were eventually granted enrollment into the program.

When 1941 rolled around, the CCC seemed to lose its importance, mainly because of the improved economy. Therefore, “A joint committee of Congress recommended that the CCC be abolished by July 1, 1942. Technically, however, the corps was never abolished. Congress simply refused it any additional money. Eventually, $8 million was set aside to cover all costs of liquidation, and the War Department, Labor Department, and Civil Aeronautics Administration were given first opportunity to acquire CCC properties. The War Department claimed the majority of the equipment” (emphasis added). The CCC seems to have a positive place in history and the record seems to show that many good things were done for the country through that organization. However, there are some aspects of the program that also seem as though they could lead to a repeat of the horrors of Nazi Germany and the holocaust when put in the hands of a dictatorial government – or even one whereby its representatives are not listening to the voice of the majority of its citizens.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

‘The SALT Plan’ addresses America’s economic enigma

The Fed has finally admitted what many who have been paying attention already knew: we’re heading for economic upheaval. This brief and passing moment of truth brought forth from the system of the Fed bowels made its way to the American public via CNBC on Tuesday. For readers who can stomach additional detail on this, two fed officials, Charles Evans of the Chicago Fed, and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart said that tax increases and spending cuts will put the US at risk of careening toward a “fiscal cliff” by year’s end.

It what could be construed as additional proof that Obama and the rest of DC may be hiding the inevitable, Reuters reported last week that Yale economics professor Robert Shiller
believes that the housing market may take as much as an entire generation to rebound.

For those who are wondering what can possibly be done to prepare for and position their families for what’s beginning to look like the Great Depression of the 21st century, one of several helpful resources is the book The SALT Plan: How to Prepare for an Economic Crisis of Biblical Proportions.

SALT is an acronym that stands for Savings, Allocation, Liquidity, and Truth. The book is written by Chuck Bentley of Crown Financial Ministries and not only does it offer insight for those who actually still have some assets about which to be concerned, but it also offers some very basic ways to prepare.

Bentley said in the book that he wrote it with the intent to “shock” people out of their “typical mindset.” He goes on to note that Americans are generally an “optimistic people, but that leads us to be unprepared for something unexpected.” He adds that the combined events of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Japan in 2011 were what made him realize that the “unthinkable” isn’t as unlikely as we tend to believe.

Bentley discourages a survivalist, loan-ranger mentality, but rather, encourages the idea of people being willing to come together in a community to help each other in difficult times. He touches on the ideas of the value of gardens; having an ample supply of canned goods, clean water and other basics on hand; and having at last a basic understanding of how to live off the land if necessary. Bentley also addresses economic cycles and the approach of the New World Order.

The SALT Plan is available at Amazon.com and at www.Crown.org

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Strained Economy into 2013 and Beyond

Though mainstream media would have legal US residents and legitimate voters believing that the economy is improving, the inconvenient truth is that it isn’t. The end of housing crisis is being pitched to Americans with the smooth shrewdness of a seasoned used car salesman at the end of a slow month. Only in this case, slow has gone well beyond one month.

Because some of the ARMs that are anticipated to reset are 7 year loans, this suggests that next year has the potential to be rather ugly. In fact, a Madison, Wisconsin real estate news blog is suggesting that the nation may not even be able to hope to see the beginning of the end until 2017 or 2018. It reasons that the lengthy recovery is not only the result of 2 million homes that will be going into foreclosure over the next several months, but also all the massive overabundance of inventory at a time when people are unemployed, underemployed, or just don’t have the savings available to put toward a purchase.

But the next round of resetting sub-prime ARMs aren’t the only reason for 2013 being an ugly year. When the Democrat-controlled congress passed Obama’s Wall Street Reform bill in July of 2010, one of the bill’s authors, Chris Dodd, proclaimed with joyous tears in his eyes that his monstrous 2300 page creation was a, “great moment” and that “no one will know until this is actually in place how it works.” He also declared that, “it will take the next economic crisis, as certainly it will come, to determine whether or not the provisions of this bill will actually provide this generation or the next generation of regulators with the tools necessary to minimize the effects of that crisis.” The bill’s other author was Barney Frank, hence it’s alternative name: The Dodd-Frank Act.

Well, the time has come to reveal just exactly how it is beginning to work. Though the new government regulations won’t fully kick in until 2013, the regulations that are required now are bringing about a significantly increased work load without boosting the economy in such a way that new jobs and the employees to fill them can be added, according to CBN.

Not only will everybody’s favorite payday lenders be affected by the bill, but so will anybody using a debit card. Republicans are calling it a “vast federal overreach that will drive financial-sector jobs overseas.”

Back in 2010, a Wall Street Journal article outlined some of the destructive aspects of the Wall Street reforms. Some of the more scary things noted are that, “The legislation would redraw how money flows through the U.S. economy, from the way people borrow money to the way banks structure complicated products like derivatives. It could touch every person who has a bank account or who uses a credit card” (emphasis added).

Another deeply concerning thing that the Wall Street Journal mentioned about the Wall Street reforms is that, “It would erect a new consumer-protection regulator within the Federal Reserve, give the government new powers to break up failing companies, and assign a council of regulators to monitor risks to the financial system. It would also set up strict new rules on big banks, limiting their risk and increasing the costs.”

Moving right along, the Securities and Exchange Commission will be granted, “new powers to regulate Wall Street and monitor hedge funds, increasing the agency’s access to funding.” Also, there will be new government programs introduced because of the bill, and the way that these programs will be paid for (besides by the tax dollars of American citizens) is that the bill “would allow the government to charge fees to large banks and hedge funds to raise up to $19 million spread over five years.” Guess how the large banks will offset those government fees. They certainly won’t be absorbing them into their own cost of doing business!

Another interesting bit of information about the Wall Street reforms from 2010 was reported by The Hill It noted that the Wall Street reform legislation was intended to provide “a ‘frame’ for the new regulatory landscape, but the full force of the rewrite hinges on how regulators interpret their new powers in the coming months and years.” It also mentioned “the creation of a new council of federal regulators to oversee broad financial risks; new regulations of the $600 trillion derivatives market; and a new system for the government to wind down failing financial firms.”

The Hill also stated at the time that Obama, “will be nominating an inaugural head of the consumer bureau, which will have broad power to write and enforce rules over home loans, credit cards and other products across the financial system” (emphasis added).

That economic crisis to which Dodd referred may not be limited to the US. Especially since Italy and Spain have declared that they will not be able to balance their budgets by 2013. And the shaky conditions of the eurozone combined with the shuttering US economy has the Fed contemplating another round of quantitative easing here at home.

Interestingly, back in 2010 Investors.com reported that the Congressional Budget Office projections were suggesting that the US could have its credit rating downgraded sometime between 2013 and 2018, depending on how adverse the situation becomes with interests rates and the US debt.

The article went on to quote a recent Societe General economics team report: “While we see limited risk of a US sovereign debt downgrade in the next 2-3 years, beyond that we cannot be so certain.” Keep in mind that Societe General has locations in about 40 countries and has been advising its clients about safe investment options to assist them in avoiding wealth destruction for at least a year now. The US downgrade actually ended up happening last year – which suggests that an economic crisis may be much closer than anyone actually wants to admit.

Even so, another threat that is far more daunting to the global economy than the sub-prime one is the derivative industry, according to a Washington Times article from 2011. It describes the difficult to understand item as follows: “Essentially, they are bets for or against the house - red or black at the roulette wheel. Or betting for or against the weather in situations in which the weather is critical (e.g., vineyards). Forwards, futures, options and swaps form the panoply of derivatives. Credit derivatives are based on loans, bonds or other forms of credit. Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives are contracts that are traded and privately negotiated directly between two parties, outside of a regular exchange.

All of this is unregulated. What happens between two parties - notably hedge funds - is like what happens between two individuals who bet on the final score of a football or baseball game. Congressional committees have been warned time and again about ‘ticking time bombs’ and ‘financial weapons of mass destruction’ - to no avail, demonstrating that both the U.S. government and the U.S. Congress are dysfunctional.”

One other type of loan that is in a massive bubble and about ready to burst is the student loan bubble. According to a National Inflation Association article from 2011, “Student loan debt in America is now larger than credit card debt, but unlike credit card debt, student loan debt can't be discharged in bankruptcy.”

Since only about half of all college graduates are finding employment right now, it’s obvious why Obama is trying to get the same student loan bill passed on which he avoided voting back when he was a senator. Especially since, according to Politico, student loan interest rates are expected to shoot up this July, only months ahead of 2012 elections. If this bill doesn’t get passed, it will be interesting to see whether it will be defaulted student loans or one of the other many options noted above that will be the catalyst to set off the next economic crisis that Dodd said he was sure is on the way, but that the he also seems to think the government is ready to fix.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

IMF head accuses US of not paying its fair share

Never mind that the U.S. has been contributing to Europe’s bailout since the first signs of trouble in Greece. The US still hasn’t paid its fair share. Or that’s what IMF head Christine Lagarde has implied with her latest statement.

While speaking in the US capital on Tuesday, the International Business Times of India
reported that Lagarde stated that, “Americans might ask themselves. ‘Why should what happens in the rest of the world concern us? Don't we have our own problems?’ The answer is simple: In today's world, we cannot afford the luxury of staying in our own mental backyards.”

America has been anywhere but its own mental backyard where the eurozone debt crisis is concerned. In fact, the U.S. Federal Reserve bailed out the eurozone through the year’s end in 2011. And the U.S. is the biggest contributor to the IMF, which has also extended funds to troubled eurozone countries.

Obama has admitted from the beginning of the euro’s unraveling that he was watching the Greek debt crisis closely. And if he was watching Greece that closely, it stands to reason that he has been watching the other troubled countries as well. Italy and Spain would have been especially interesting to watch.

Back in November, not only was Italy supposed to be audited by the EU and the IMF,
but according to the Christian newswire, World Congress of Families Managing Director Larry Jacobs noted the significant impact of family issues: “Over the past 8 years of its socialist misrule, the Zapatero government painted a symbolic bulls-eye on the Spanish family and moral virtues -- liberalizing and promoting divorce, instituting same-sex marriage and adoption, creating easy access to abortion, lowering the age of consent, eliminating parent's rights, and mandating pro-homosexual education in the schools.”

It has even been suggested that eurozone countries need to surrender their sovereignty in order to save their economies, in spite of the fact that the euro is a faulty currency that was basically doomed to fail from the start.

If the eurozone is by any chance the “pilot program” for the remaking of America, sort of like Romneycare was the pilot for Obamacare, then what is happening in Europe is eventually coming here. While the dollar was not originally designed to fail as the euro was, the debt load that America is carrying isn’t going to be able to be sustained forever, especially as more baby boomers retire and need to pull on social programs that are not only presently grossly underfunded, but also in need of reform.

To borrow an Occupy Wall Street concept, if the U.S. is the 1 percent and Europe is the 99 percent, will we have finally paid our fair share when we no longer exist?

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Conservatives encouraged to demand Cameron’s new movie, Monumental

If anyone knows about grassroots movements, conservative groups such as Tea Partiers and 912ers do. Apparently, Kirk Cameron knows a little about it himself. All the attention he has been getting lately because of being cornered regarding his views on homosexuality and gay marriage has not done damage to the debut of Monumental. In fact, it may actually be helping. The movie was shown in more than 500 theaters nationwide on Tuesday, according to CBN.

Monumental is the kind of movie that should have great appeal to not only Conservative grassroots groups, but also to those who consider themselves to be Christian. Not only does this documentary highlight the Christian foundation of America and the work of America’s forefathers, but according to a review at Crown Rights Media , Monumental is a, “truly Gospel centered film that left you educated and encouraged in the work of God.” In addition, for those who have a love for the arts or consider themselves to be artists, the review notes that it also inspires the viewer as an artist.

For those who are interested to see the film, the theaters that are showing it are noted at Monumental Movie Theater Listings. And if those who visit the site find that there isn’t a theater in their area that is showing the film, there is a link to demand that it be brought to their area.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Religious Freedom Rally speaker: American freedoms are eroding

Cincinnati, OH – As noon approached on Friday, the crowd sprawled from the front of St Peter in Chains Church down both sides of the roughly quarter mile block. It even flooded across the street.  The pouring rain obviously didn’t deter the turnout of several hundreds of Christians from around the tri-state region and others representing various other religious groups from standing up for religious freedom.  The group represented multiple demographics in that there were white collar workers, blue collar workers, retirees, babies, teens, young adults, entire families, and a few disabled people that had come to rally for the their religious freedoms that they felt were being violated by Obamacare.

Carl Brown, a business owner local to Cincinnati organized the rally in the downtown area, and rallies were also organized in Cleveland, Dayton, Toledo and other cities in various states across the nation. A total of about 143 cities participated.

There was an electricity that seemed to flow through the atmosphere, and people were smiling and joyously enthusiastic as they waited for the rally to begin: but at the same time, there was an attitude of remorse over how the nation’s moral condition overall has deteriorated, and how the healthcare mandate is just another aspect of that decline.  The rally opened with the crowd singing the “Star Spangled Banner” followed by prayer.

Brown confided that his motive for organizing the rally was because, “I love America and I hate to see freedom under attack.”

He went on to acknowledge that the freedom of American citizens is not only threatened, but that he feels that it’s eroding.  He proceeded to introduce Paula Westwood, president of Cincinnati Right to Life to detail some of the ways that Obamacare is hastening that process, especially where religious freedom is concerned.

Westwood pointed out that there are 2500 references in the bill that allow the Health and Human Services Secretary, presently Kathleen Sebelius, to have expanded authority to “create, determine and define what this department does.” Not only is Sebelius one of the most pro-abortion officials on a federal level, but through Obamacare she has now become one of the most powerful.

Westwood highlighted a specific example of just how Sebelius is wielding her power by mentioning that this past January, Sebelius’ HHS department ruled that, “Virtually all private healthcare plans must cover sterilization, abortion inducing drugs and contraceptives at no cost.”

Westwood added that, “This sweeping move ignores the conscience rights of any employers that do not want to provide such coverage, including non-profit religious institutions.”
She went on to note that not only is an outcry being sparked among Christians, but also some Jews, Muslims and other religious groups and even non-believers who see such a mandate as an assault on the gift of life and religious liberty to all Americans, “rights which are foundational to our country’s  values.”

Westwood also quoted Sebelius’ words of support for a national healthcare system that provides taxpayer funded abortion services and contraceptives to a congressional panel earlier this month: “The reduction in the number of pregnancies compensates for the cost of contraception and the estimated cost is down, not up.”

In relation to Sebelius’s words, Westwood pointed out that, “Friends, this is not freedom, this is population control!”  She stopped short of suggesting that it could be a precursor to something similar to China’s one child policy, a policy that has already been revealed as being a part of the global warming agenda.

Westwood also explained that it was revealed this month that, “starting next year, anyone enrolled in an insurance plan that includes abortion must also pay a monthly dollar premium to cover the cost of other women’s abortions. The enrollee will make two payments: a dollar per month for the separate abortion fund, and another payment for the rest of their insurance services. Most people won’t know about this until they’ve signed up for their plan, because Secretary Sebelius has included a gag order where insurance plans may only advertise the total cost of the premium without disclosing that enrollees, that’s some of us, will be charged a dollar per month fee to directly subsidize abortion.  This is not freedom, this is coercion!”

The crowd applauded and cheered as she continued, pointing out that last week, “the Obama administration expanded the originally announced mandate to require all universities, not only religious, to provide contraceptives, abortion inducing drugs and sterilization to their students, as well as their employees at no cost. “

She admonished that citizens need to be aware that these provisions require, “what is called ‘patient education and counseling on contraceptive methods for all women with reproductive capacity.’ Now folks, women with reproductive capacity can be little girls as young as 9 or 10, and this counseling will not come from their parents!  This is not freedom, this is indoctrination!”

The crowd applauded and cheered again and she further informed that the mandate is being opened up to a 90 day comment period to the public, but it will not change the fact that faith based groups must still provide abortion services and contraceptives.  “This is not freedom,” Westwood insisted, “this is propaganda!”

More cheering and applause erupted.

Westwood went on to point out that syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker not only severely   criticized the healthcare mandate, but she also predicted that religious institutions such as hospitals and religious personnel whose consciences are being violated by this mandate have one of two options: either refuse to comply or shut down their institution.  This would have catastrophic consequences because, “one in six patients in the United States is cared for in a Catholic hospital.”

Westwood further stated that, “My friends, this battle is about whether we stand firm on our nation’s core beliefs in freedom, conscience and religious liberty, and the stakes could not be higher.  We should not have to be here. We should not have to have rallies across the country. America’s founding fathers, from the beginning, sacrificed homes, happiness and life itself to establish these freedoms for us.”

It was eerie to hear bells begin to toll, which were totally unplanned, as she continued: “We must hold every political candidate and our US representatives, senators and the president accountable for this mandate. They are on notice. And most importantly, we must remember whether they stand for religious liberty at not at the ballot box this November.”

Westwood finished with a quote from a letter that George Washington wrote to Benedict Arnold: “We should be very cautions not to violate the rights of conscience in others ever considering that God alone is the judge of the hearts of men.  And to Him only in this case are they answerable.”

 The crowd erupted into a spontaneous chant of, “We will not comply!”

Brown quieted them by reminding them of a few religious leaders who are presently taking a stand on the issue, and petitions of repentance were offered to God, as well as prayer on behalf of the nation’s leaders and healthcare workers.  In addition, requests were made known to the Lord that He would pour out His mercy and restore America.  Then Brown challenged the crowd to boldly speak out about what they’d heard and to try to encourage the involvement of additional churches.  

For more about information on the rallies, please visit www.StandUpForReligiousFreedom.com or www.rallyforreligiousfreedom.com