Wednesday, May 9, 2012

9 May 2012

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, an EPC Elder, Knows His Calvin in Vetoing Legislation Regarding Vanderbilt University

[2] Virginia Judge Recommends Redacting First Table from Ten Commandments School Display to Remove Government Endorsement of Religion

[3] Allegan, Michigan Police Forcibly Shut Down Conference on the U.S. Constitution and Sharia Law after Complaints from Islamic Terrorist Fundraising Group Council on Islamic-American Relations

[4] PCUSA-Affiliated Auburn Theological Seminary of New York, New York, Honor Planned Parenthood Executives

[5] 17,000 ‘Aphrodisiac’ Pills Made from Dead, Aborted Babies Seized by Police in South Korea

[6] 2012 Fraser Valley Bible Conference Recordings of Dr. Joel Beeke Speaking on “Living the Christian Life” Available for Free Download


[1] Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, an EPC Elder, Knows His Calvin in Vetoing Legislation Regarding Vanderbilt University

By David Tulis – 3 May 2012

An announced veto by Gov. Bill Haslam pulls up short a bill that many Christians have reason to favor — one that puts Vanderbilt University in its place for a petty tyranny the nonsmokers on its board slapped on their inferiors in the name of tolerance, fairness, equity and fair play.

Vandy’s cocky little rule, one that conveniently gives a pass to fraternities and sororities, will proceed apace, giving the school’s parent body one more reason to suspect that enrolling a son or daughter there may be a slap on the cheek as well as a waste of family capital. Gov. Haslam’s veto adheres to a philosophy of limited government and a reluctance to use even the most well-intentioned power of the state to overwhelm a private institution’s government and to dictate terms.

Mr. Haslam, an elder in the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, is following the thinking of the world’s foremost Christian reformer, John Calvin, a French theologian who is credited even by his enemies as having systematized the concept of modern political liberty that everyone from the tea party to Occupy Wall Street to Hamilton County government with its divided powers owe their thanks.

Calvin, whose major work is The Institutes of the Christian Religion, followed Martin Luther and Scotsman John Knox in enunciating limitations of the civil magistrate (or, as we say today, the state) that are the bulwark of western political liberty. With Calvin, the doctrines of government by covenant, interposition by the lesser magistrate and the duty of princes to avoid arbitrary and absolutist ways came into the modern consciousness. The American colonial concept of fractured national government with its competing power centers (executive, legislative, judicial) is a new historical development — and comes from Calvin.

IN A STATEMENT GIVEN REPORTERS, Gov. Haslam describes the Vanderbilt rule as an “all comers” policy. This usage is intended to imply the intent of a rule that forbids a Christian group from requiring Christianity of its directors and forcing such groups, if they are to receive university subsidies, to accept pagans, Wiccans and other worthies. The rule would let an historic revisionist take charge of a Jewish group that believes in the holocaust, a Yankee imperialist to take leadership of a Southern states’ rights group, a patriarchalist to take the helm of the campus feminists, and a Muslim to get his foot in the door of the Hindu fellowship.

As for HB 3576/SB 3597, the governor said:

"I don’t agree with Vanderbilt’s “all-comers” policy. It is counterintuitive to make campus organizations open their membership and leadership positions to anyone and everyone, even when potential members philosophically disagree with the core values and beliefs of the organization.

"The original version of HB 3576/SB 3597 only applied to public education institutions, and I believe it is appropriate for state government to be involved in policies of public colleges and universities.

"The amended legislation that the General Assembly ultimately passed, however, also applies to private universities. Although I disagree with Vanderbilt’s policy, as someone who strongly believes in limited government, I think it is inappropriate for government to mandate the policies of a private institution. Therefore, I will veto HB 3576/SB 3597 in its current form."

The veto is the governor’s first, and follows a line of political genius that was sparked in the 1500s when Christendom rediscovered the word of God that had come, over centuries, to be smothered and lost by an ultimately unreformable Roman Catholic church.

The grounds for state intervention in the life of private Vanderbilt University are that the university receives taxpayer funds. The Assembly passed its bill Monday before adjourning Tuesday. A late amendment stipulated that any private university accepting $24 million or more in state funds is subject to the law. Rep. Mark Pody, a Lebanon Republican, told Andy Sher of the Times Free Press that Vandy gets at least that amount through the state’s welfare program for the sick poor, TennCare.

Among those who pushed for the Vandy intervention is David Fowler, a Christian activist with the Family Action Council of Tennessee, whose work in favor of Christendom is of long standing and great effect.

PERSONAL LIBERTY UNDER LAW and divided government are Christian concepts that national Republicans, Democrats enjoy, even though they have worked for years to overturn the concept. Calvin’s systematic work premised on the sovereignty of God assumes the totality of the fall in mankind and denies the possibility of salvation by man. The modern messianic state disputes this argument, and is constantly arranging to save us and predestine our lives by the U.S. Code.

Calvin in Book 4, Chapter 20, of the Institutes gives useful pointers about the use of authority:

-- In discussing the obedience owed Kings, he says, “And, indeed, how preposterous were it, in pleasing men, to incur the offense of Him for whose sake you obey men! The Lord, therefore, is King of kings. When he opens his sacred mouth, he alone is to be heard, instead of all and above all. We are subject to the men who rule over us, but subject only in the Lord.”

-- “On this ground Daniel denies that he had sinned *** when he refused to obey [King Darius’] impious decree *** because the king had exceeded his limits, and not only been injurious to men, but, by raising his horn against God, had virtually abrogated his own power.”

-- “Although the Lord takes vengeance on unbridled domination, let us not therefore suppose that vengeance is committed to us, to whom no command has been given but to obey and suffer.”

-- The following aphorism speaks to Christians living under tyranny. “When tyrants reign, let us first remember our faults, which are chastised by such scourges; and, therefore, humility will restrain our impatience. Besides, it is not in our power to remedy these evils, and all that remains for us is to implore the assistance of the Lord, in whose hand are the hearts of men and the revolutions of kingdoms.”

CALVIN IS STRICTLY AGAINST uprisings and warfare by guerrillas, insurrectionists, revolutionaries, terrorists and others. These are evils to be suppressed by warfare and bloodshed, and lawfully so. But the doctrines of the sovereignty of God that he explores disallow kingly tyranny as well, government by caprice and whim. Another reformed doctrine, that of sphere sovereignty (wherein church, family and state have each a jurisdictional prerogative), underlies the proper use of force.

Gov. Haslam grew up in a Presbyterian tradition of thought. A bright light for the reformed faith, Presbyterianism is full of hostility to tyrants and duty to God — both. His government may not be perfect. But Gov. Haslam rightly vetoed the Vandy bill because it is a use of force in a private conflict in which his government has no authority or competence.


John Calvin, The Institutes of the Christian Religion, trans. Henry Beveridge (Grand Rapids, Mich.; Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1983) pp. 674, 675, 689

Calvinism has developed a rich and practical literature about the duty and limits of the civil magistracy and the duty and limits of citizenship in an earthly kingdom such as the State of Tennessee.

Douglas F. Kelly, The Emergence of Liberty in the Modern World [;] The Influence of Calvin on Five Governments from the 16th through 18th Centuries

Rousas J. Rushdoony, The Nature of the American System

Junius Brutus, A Defence of Liberty Against Tyrants (Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos); this book was a bestseller in the colonies in the time leading to the first American war for independence

J.H. Merle D’Aubigne, The Protector (about Thomas Cromwell)

For an excellent analysis for the use of government, see the Westminster Confession of Faith, 1647.

David Tulis, a deacon at Brainerd Hills Presbyterian Church (
Presbyterian Church in America), is married and the father of four homeschooled children.

+ Nooganomics,

+ Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 17197 North Laurel Park Drive Suite 567, Livonia, Michigan 48152, 734-742-2020, Fax: 734-742-2033,

Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001,

[2] Virginia Judge Recommends Redacting First Table from Ten Commandments School Display to Remove Government Endorsement of Religion

An 8 May 2012
Roanoke Times article by Laurence Hammack titled “Cut Ten Commandments down to Six?” reports that during a motions hearing in U.S. District Court in Roanoke, Virginia, concerning an American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) lawsuit opposing the display of the Ten Commandments at Narrows High School (NHS) in Giles County, Virginia, Judge Michael Urbanski suggested that concern about government endorsement of religion might be alleviated if the first four of the Ten Commandments were eliminated from the display.

The Giles County School Board (GCSB) ordered the removal of a Ten Commandments display at NHS after the
Freedom from Religion Foundation complained about the display, then reversed themselves after a large public outcry.

The GCSB faces the possibility of having to pay the ACLU legal expenses that could total US$500,000 if the ACLU prevails. The GCSB is being represented pro bono by the
Liberty Counsel.

+ Roanoke Times, 201 West Campbell Avenue, Roanoke, Virginia 24010, 540-981-3211,

+ American Civil Liberties Union, 125 Broad Street, 18th Floor, New York, New York 10004, 212-549-2500, Contact Page

+ Freedom from Religion Foundation, Post Office Box 750, Madison, Wisconsin 53701, 608-256-8900, Fax: 608-204-0422,

Liberty Counsel, Post Office Box 540774, Orlando, Florida 32854, 800-671-1776,

[3] Allegan, Michigan Police Forcibly Shut Down Conference on the U.S. Constitution and Sharia Law after Complaints from Islamic Terrorist Fundraising Group Council on Islamic-American Relations

A 3 May 2012 Western Center for Journalism article by Doug Book titled “Did Terror-Promoting CAIR Shut Down Pro-Constitution Event?” reports that a 26 January 2012 conference called “Constituting Michigan—Founding Principles Act” being held in the auditorium of Allegan High School in Allegan,
Michigan, was forcibly shut down by Allegan police after the executive director of the Council on Islamic-American Relations Michigan (CAIRM), Dawud Walid, wrote a letter to school officials complaining about the event and school officials subsequently notified the local police that Walid opposed the event.

The purpose of the event was “…to inform the public about the importance of honoring the United States Constitution, to recognize the internal threat to America posed by radical Muslims and the dangers to our free society caused by the imposition of Sharia law.”

On 30 April 2012, the
Thomas More Law Center (TMLC) filed suit on behalf of conference organizer Michigan State Representative David Agema and the conference co-sponsors. “This case seeks to protect and vindicate fundamental constitutional rights…under the 1st and 14th Amendments to the Constitution…and Michigan law…” wrote the TMLC in the filing.

Representative Agema is the Michigan House of Representatives sponsor of HB 4769, “The Restriction of Application of Foreign Laws Act.” The goal of the legislation is to ban the use of foreign or Sharia law by
Michigan courts “…when those laws conflict with fundamental rights protected by the Constitution of the United States and the State of Michigan.”

CAIR was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, the largest terror-funding proceeding in U.S. legal history.

+ Western Center for Journalism, 42104 North Venture Drive, Suite B-122, Anthem,
Arizona 85086, 202-370-6366, Contact Page

+ Council on Islamic-American Relations Michigan, 21700 Northwestern Highway,
Southfield, Michigan 48075, 248-559-2427,

+ Thomas More Law Center, 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48106, 734-827-2001, Fax: 734-930-7160,

+ Council on American-Islamic Relations, 453 New Jersey Avenue Southeast, Washington DC 20003, 202-488-8787, Fax: 202-488-0833,

[4] PCUSA-Affiliated Auburn Theological Seminary of New York, New York, Honor Planned Parenthood Executives

A 3 May 2012 Godfather Politics article by Giacomo titled “Presbyterian Seminary to Honor Leader of Planned Parenthood” reports that on 2 May 2012, Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)-affiliated Auburn Theological Seminary of New York, New York, honored Planned Parenthood Federation of America president Cecile Richards and chairman Cecilia Guthrie Boone during the seminary’s annual Lives of Commitment Benefit Breakfast.

The article’s author pointed out that the two women are “responsible for handing out contraceptives to thousands of women and school girls and performing around 300,000 murderous abortions annually.”

The author concluded:

"Auburn Theological Seminary is a shining example of how far so many seminaries, Christian colleges, churches and denominations have strayed away from sound biblical teaching. They have succumbed to the sinful lusts and desires of the world, forsaking God’s Word. This liberal seminary reminds me of the words of the Apostle Peter who wrote (2 Peter 2:1-3),

"“But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.”" [ESV]

+ Godfather Politics, 457 Nathan Dean Boulevard, Dallas, Georgia 30132

+ Auburn Theological Seminary, 3041 Broadway,
New York, New York 10027, 212-662-4315, Fax: 212-663-5214,

Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005

Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 434 West 33rd Street, New York, New York 10001, 212-541-7800, Fax: 212-245-1845

[5] 17,000 ‘Aphrodisiac’ Pills Made from Dead, Aborted Babies Seized by Police in South Korea

John Jalsevac of reported 7 May 2012 that since August 2011, South Korean customs officials have confiscated 17,000 Chinese-made pills containing dehydrated and crushed human flesh which are sold as aphrodisiacs and alternative medicine.

The Chinese manufacturers obtain the corpses of aborted or stillborn babies from hospitals and abortion facilities, and then dehydrate the bodies before crushing them and making them into pills.

Human rights activists in China say that 35,000 abortions are performed daily, ten times the daily number in the U.S., and many of which are forced upon the mothers by the Chinese government because of the country’s one-child policy., Incorporated, Post Office Box 25382, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220, 866-787-9947,

[6] 2012 Fraser Valley Bible Conference Recordings of Dr. Joel Beeke Speaking on “Living the Christian Life” Available for Free Download

The 2012 Fraser Valley Bible Conference was held 27-28 April 2012 at the Emmanuel Free Reformed Church in Abbotsford,
British Columbia, Canada, where conference speaker the Rev. Dr. Joel Beeke, president of Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, spoke on three topics under the theme “Living the Christian Life.”

Recordings of the conference are available for free download:

-- Cultivating Sanctification: How Can I Be More Holy? — Part 1 [Dr. Joel Beeke]

-- Developing Spiritual Maturity: How Can I Grow in Christ? — Part 2 [Dr. Joel Beeke]

-- Overcoming Enemies of Holiness: How Can I Conquer Sin? — Part 3 with Q&A [Dr. Joel Beeke]

The 2012 Fraser Valley Bible Conference was a joint effort between several churches in the greater Fraser Valley,
British Columbia, Canada, representing the Free Reformed Churches of North America, the United Reformed Churches in North America, and the Heritage Reformed Churches.

Free Reformed Churches of North America, c/o Free Reformed Publications, Post Office Box 1094, Mitchell, Ontario, Canada N0K 1N0, 519-348-0020

+ United Reformed Churches in North America, c/o the Rev. Bradd Nymeyer, 227 1st Avenue Southeast, Sioux Center,
Iowa 51250, 712-722-1965,

+ Heritage Reformed Churches,

+ Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, 2965 Leonard Street Northeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49525, 616-977-0599, Fax: 616-285-3246,