Signs and Wonders
Tea Party Patriots co-founders Mark Meckler, right, and Jenny Beth Martin.
Associated Press/Photo by Manuel Balce Ceneta
Tea Party Patriots co-founders Mark Meckler, right, and Jenny Beth Martin.

Signs and Wonders: Tea Party protests IRS in court

Newsworthy

Sue the IRS. On Monday, a coalition of conservative groups announced it would file a class action lawsuit against the IRS for what the groups call “illegal and harassing behavior in the handling and processing of their applications for non-profit status.” Mark Meckler, former national coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, is organizing the lawsuit. Ginny Rapini, president of NorCal Tea Party, is the lead plaintiff. “Neither party in Congress can be relied upon to satisfactorily resolve this issue,” Meckler said. “It is time for the citizens to go on offense.”

Tolerance not enough. The Obama administration is apparently requiring federal workers not just to tolerate homosexuality, but to “publicly embrace and affirm” it. That’s according to the Liberty Counsel, a conservative religious liberty law firm. Liberty Counsel said the Department of Justice sent an email to all DOJ employees titled “LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers.” It included a brochure containing “dos and don’ts” related to homosexuality. In the “do” category: “Do use a transgender person’s chosen name and the pronoun … consistent with the person’s self-identified gender.” Among the “don’ts”: “Don’t judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.” According to the Liberty Counsel, “No longer can Christians quietly dissent or remain neutral to same-sex relationships. Now the DOJ is requiring federal employees to affirm sexual behaviors that every major religion throughout history has deemed immoral.”

Got milk? Today is “Harvey Milk Day” in California’s public schools. Harvey Milk is the man credited with launching the “gay rights” revolution in California. A homosexual activist in the 1970s in San Francisco's Castro District, Milk was on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors as the first openly gay elected official in California. Milk and Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed in 1978 by former political colleague Dan White. In 2009, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law a bill that encourages schools to honor Harvey Milk. Schools are not required, but are “encouraged,” to commemorate Milk on May 22 of each year. However, according to the conservative California group Capitol Resource Institute, “a well-funded group—the Gay, Straight, Alliance Network—provides curriculum, programs, and resources” that make it easy for teachers and students to participate in Harvey Milk Day. 

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Jeff Gordon’s journey. If you’re a NASCAR fan (and I haven’t been since Dale Earnhardt died), you know that Jeff Gordon started his 700th race a couple of weeks ago. That’s a significant milestone in the sport. Even more significantly, he’s won 87 of those races, a remarkable percentage of wins. He also has four championships. He’s a future member of the sport’s Hall of Fame, and has become fabulously wealthy in the process. But Gordon was also, early in his career, an outspoken evangelical Christian who spoke often at Christian events. A high-profile divorce a dozen or so years ago tarnished his Christian celebrity halo, and he’s been relatively quiet about his faith since. This milestone in Gordon’s career causes me to pause and wonder about the “star making machinery” (to use Joni Mitchell’s famous phrase) of the evangelical world. Why do we seem to require “Christian celebrities?” What happens to a person, especially a young person, when he or she is thrust in the Christian celebrity spotlight before his or her faith is fully formed? When that person encounters the inevitable challenges, and makes the inevitable stumble, how do we respond? How should we respond? I have my own ideas, but I would welcome yours.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., is vice president of WORLD News Group and the host of the radio program Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.

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