Category: Faith & Culture

J. Pepper Bryars: Will Boys Life magazine soon become Boys & Girls Life?

[caption id="attachment_50156" align="aligncenter" width="800"] (Steven Depolo/Flickr)[/caption]   I was straightening the house recently and picked up my oldest son’s favorite magazine off the living room floor. Memories of my own boyhood subscription brought a smile, but then I wondered, “Am I holding one of the last copies of Boys Life?” The culturally leftward trajectory of the Boy Scouts of America’s national office has been gradual but clear. They first allowed homosexual boys to join (a move I wrote about). Then they allowed homosexual leaders to join (I wrote about that, too). Boys who think they’re girls were the next to be allowed, and now, finally, real girls. It’s been a challenge to remain in the organization, but thankfully our church-sponsored pack and troop can ignore this insanity and continue running our groups as we see fit. But ... would the national office actually change the magazine’s name to a more inclusive title? “No,” I said. “That’s a silly thought.” Because just as soon as one girl’s mother complained that the name made her daughter feel excluded another parent would complain that a Boys & Girls Life magazine would make their transgendered scout feel marginalized. But a Boys & Girls & Transgendered Life magazine wouldn’t completely satisfy the social justice name changers. It turns out, fellow rubes, that the City of New York officially says there are at least 30 genders. So in keeping with the BSA national office’s policy of not offending anyone regardless of how many loyal supporters they…

J. Pepper Bryars: Why Alabamians won’t believe the Washington Post’s story about Roy Moore (even if it’s true)

    My first thought after reading the Washington Post’s story alleging that Roy Moore preyed upon teenaged girls was ... this sounds believable. Why would a woman, multiple women, in fact, fabricate such a story? The thought of electing such a man to the U.S. Senate from Alabama made me sick to my stomach. My second thought was ... this sounds believable, but is it? The thought of reflexively questioning an apparently solid piece of journalism made me even sicker. Here’s why: -- I don’t believe in wild conspiracy theories and those who peddle them should be drummed out of the conservative movement. And sticking one’s fingers in one’s ears and shouting “Fake News!” is a simple and sure way to become an ignorant person. -- Conservatives should only be concerned with the truth, even if it hurts our candidates, our campaigns, or even our cause. We cannot ignore truth just because it’s uncomfortable, it challenges our conclusions, or if it comes from an unsavory or untrustworthy source. It’s difficult, but we must sort through these things. Truth is hardly ever served up on a silver platter, just the way we ordered. But ... Why are we only just now learning about such a damning allegation against a man who has been the target of both parties for decades? The establishment and moderate wings of the Republican Party have tried to yank Moore off the political stage for years, and the Democrats hate the man with the fire of…

Friday Night Lights: Alabama high school stands up to anti-Christian bullies

[caption id="attachment_49219" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Students praying at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium, Nov. 3 (Trussville Tribune/YouTube)[/caption] Last month an organization of anti-Christian extremists began pushing around a small town Alabama high school, threatening lawsuits if administrators didn’t stop the community from praying at the stadium before football games. Last Friday night that community pushed back. Hewitt-Trussville High School students wore "Stand Up for Prayer" t-shirts while reciting the Lord’s Prayer shortly before kickoff against Florence High School. “I pray that you would protect the players and everybody here tonight. I pray that as we stand here as one group we would proclaim, Our Father...,” a student can be heard saying over Hewitt-Trussville Stadium’s public address system before the community joined in unison. Students organized the invocation without administrator or teacher involvement, according to the Trussville Tribune. This was a bold and courageous response to the aggressively litigious Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Wisconsin-based group that’s dedicated to stamping out all public displays of faith in our nation. It sent a letter to Trussville City School System last month after learning about the tradition of student-led prayer at the stadium, calling it inappropriate, illegal and unconstitutional. “The district must take immediate action to end the practice of broadcasting prayer over the loudspeaker at football games,” wrote the foundation’s lawyer. “Please inform us of the steps the district is taking to remedy this serious violation of the First Amendment.” Most superintendents and local school boards immediately surrender after the group threatens their system with lawsuits. Not…

Alabamian, WWI veteran and Medal of Honor recipient remembered in Birmingham

It’s been exactly 100-years since Alabama-native Osmond Kelly Ingram was killed during a German U-boat attack in the North Atlantic on October 15, 1917, becoming our nation’s first enlisted serviceman to die in World War I. And today Alabama paused to remember her native son’s service, to honor his sacrifice, and to reflect upon the valor he demonstrated during the attack ... valor that was posthumously recognized with the Medal of Honor. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 668, which is named in Ingram’s honor, gathered this morning in the downtown Birmingham park that also bears his name to mark the solemn anniversary. The event also kicks-off the approach to the first-in-the-nation National Veterans Day Parade, held on November 11th in downtown Birmingham. This is the 70th anniversary of the parade, which was started in 1947 by an Alabama veteran of World War II who wanted a celebration to honor all veterans. They chose to hold the parade on November 11th, then known as Armistice Day – the anniversary of the end of World War I. More than 117,000 American servicemembers, including more than 2,000 from Alabama, were killed in World War I. But for Mrs. Betty Ingram of Pratt City, one sailor mattered more than all of the others. “My boy, my boy,” she said through sobs after learning her 30-year old son had been killed, according to an October 18, 1917 edition of the Birmingham Age-Herald. Ingram first enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1903, when…

Gun control won’t stop what’s to blame for the Las Vegas massacre

[caption id="attachment_47808" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Luca Signorelli, Sermon and Deeds of the Antichrist, 1499-1502, fresco, Chapel of San Brizio, Duomo, Orvieto[/caption] Everybody’s pointing fingers. Many blame guns. Others blame mental illness. Some blame the glorified violence in our videogames, film, and television. And a few blame everyone and everything but the shooter himself. But what if the real architect behind the Las Vegas massacre isn’t someone we can hold accountable? What if the real weapon isn’t something we could control with a thousand new laws? And what if the motive behind the massacre was something most Americans don’t believe exists in the first place? Bottom line up front: Evil is more than just a behavior. It’s a real presence at work in the world, and it likely captured the 64-year-old Las Vegas shooter, Stephen Paddock, a long time ago. “He was a sick man,” said President Donald Trump after the shooting. “We’re dealing with a very, very sick individual.” Most people agree with the president in assuming Paddock must have been an insane psychopath, and there is plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting that claim. The mass shootings at the elementary school in Connecticut, at the movie theater in Colorado, during the congresswoman’s event in Arizona, and at Virginia Tech all share a common characteristic: all four shooters had been diagnosed as mentally ill. But from all accounts, Paddock wasn’t insane, at least not certifiably, and most killers aren’t either. Otherwise, our justice system wouldn’t hold them personally responsible for their actions.…

Three Lessons Republicans Must Learn From That Messy Alabama Primary

Some say Judge Roy Moore’s victory over Senator Luther Strange last Tuesday was a loss for the president: “Alabama defeat leaves Trump weakened, isolated amid mounting challenges,” read a headline in the Washington Post. Others say it was a defeat for the Senate majority leader: “Judge Roy Moore wins Alabama Senate primary, dealing a huge blow to Mitch McConnell,” declared the liberal news site Vox. And a few even say it was all about the chairman of Breitbart News: “Steve Bannon just defeated Trump,” wrote liberal columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. But this wasn’t about Trump or McConnell or Bannon, and it wasn’t even really about Moore or Strange. It was about Alabama. More precisely, it was about how Republicans in Alabama choose candidates to stand against Democrats in the general election, and then against liberalism once in office. But if we allow a proxy war between Trump and McConnell and Bannon and whoever else to distract us, then we’ll fail to learn some valuable lessons that tumbled out of this messy but instructive race. It’d be foolish to repeat these mistakes in another Republican primary, but it could be catastrophic to do so during a general election. So let’s remind ourselves of three big ones: Lesson 1: Never disrespect the voters. Like many Republicans in Alabama, I had a somewhat open mind at the beginning of the primary. And there was plenty to like. If you like former Senator Jeff Sessions, then you’d probably love Congressman Mo Brooks. He’d carry…