Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders 08.01


Chick-fil-A Day. In 1984, presidential candidate Walter Mondale borrowed a catch phrase from the fast-food chain Wendy's to make a point. In a debate with rival Gary Hart, Mondale criticized Hart's ideas as lacking substance, asking "Where's The Beef?" That may be the last time a fast-food chain has crossed as openly into the public debate as Chick-fil-A has in these past few weeks. Chick-fil-A Day is underway and reports of long lines pour in. Chick-fil-A Day owes its existence to Fox News star Mike Huckabee, who has repeatedly said it is about religious liberty and free speech and not same-sex marriage. But homosexual activists disagree and they are planning a counter-demonstration at Chick-fil-As on Aug. 3, saying that Dan Cathy, Chick-fil-A's president, should not be able to speak out on political issues without some consequence. Meanwhile, last Friday, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife donated $2.5 million to a Washington state campaign to defend a gay marriage law in that state.

National Eagle Scout Day. By the way, it's also National Eagle Scout Day. And given the trouble homosexual activists have given the Boy Scouts, perhaps it's fitting that Chick-fil-A Day and National Eagle Scout Day fall on the same day. In any case, I heard it suggested (only half-jokingly) that if you really want to make a liberal mad, today you should take a Boy Scout to lunch-at Chick-fil-A.

A future president? It's too early to say "Ted Cruz for President," but the former Texas solicitor general took a giant step forward in his political career yesterday when he clinched the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate. In the deep-red state of Texas, the win makes him the favorite to win the open seat this fall. He ran against establishment GOP favorite Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst. Dewhurst was ahead in the polls for most of the year-long campaign, and Dewhurst had the support of most of the Republican Party's leadership, including Gov. Rick Perry. But in the end it wasn't even close. Cruz received 56 percent of the vote to 44 percent for Dewhurst. This despite the fact that as of July 11, Dewhurst had raised more than $24.5 million compared to Cruz's $9 million. The differences for Cruz were his remarkable oratorical skills, his uncompromising conservative views, and grass roots support from the Texas Tea Party. Oh, and by the way: At Ted Cruz's victory party last night, he served Chick-fil-A sandwiches. Seriously.

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A battle we didn't pick. I sometimes hear folks ask why Christians are so concerned about homosexuality. The truth is that we're not. I, for one, would much rather talk about something else. But, alas, the other side keeps bringing this fight to us, and duty requires that we not "roll over." A case in point: The Democratic Party announced that it will make support of same-sex marriage a part of its party platform. The platform plank affirming "marriage equality" was approved unanimously by a 15-member platform draft committee. The plank now heads for approval by the full platform committee in August. Party officials met last weekend in Minneapolis and approved the first step to amend the party platform. In two weeks, the entire platform committee will vote on the matter at a meeting scheduled in Detroit.

Demography is destiny. Russia and large portions of Europe are committing national suicide by abortion and lower birth rates. In fact, far from having a population explosion, the planet will likely experience population declines over the next 50 years. Longer life spans will cause the population to rise for another 10 to 20 years. After that, lower birth rates will cause the population to drop. The same phenomenon is now happening in the U.S. In part because of the economy and twenty-somethings postponing parenthood, birthrates are at their lowest level in 25 years. According to USA Today, "The average number of births per woman fell 12 percent from a peak of 2.12 in 2007. Demographic Intelligence projects the rate to hit 1.87 this year and 1.86 next year-the lowest since 1987." It takes about 2.1 births per woman to maintain population levels. What's interesting is that religious and political conservatives tend to have higher birth rates. That's why some conservatives have suggested that time is on our side when it comes to many of the "culture war" battles we face today, since liberals are slowly fighting a war of attrition against their own children.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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