The Transgender Issue in Women’s Sports

The Transgender Issue in Women’s Sports

The transgender issue in women’s sports grows nearly every day. As we have mentioned previously, biological males have an advantage when they claim to be females and participate in women’s sports. Here are some examples of this issue in women’s sports:

Lia Thomas is a six-foot-four-inch biological male who ranked in the 400s in the men’s swimming division but is now a top-ranked swimmer in the women’s division.

Valentina Petrillo is a biological male who identifies as transgender and won the women’s 400-meter bronze medal at the World Para Athletics Championships in Paris in July of 2023.

Austin Kippips is a biological male who finished five minutes ahead of all female competitors to win the Belgian Waffle Ride, a 131-mile cycling event in North Carolina, in June of 2023.

Terry Miller and Andraya Yearwood ranked first and second in Connecticut in the girls’ 55-meter dash. Previously, they had ranked 120th and 195th in the male category.

In addition to the locker room and restroom problems, coed dormitory issues in private colleges, and now women’s sports issues, the pressure on legislators to do something is growing. However, this issue continues without any action for fear of the political consequences.

We need to keep in mind the growing transgender issue in women’s sports when we vote for politicians. God designed our bodies, and when we make changes to what God created, we invite pain and suffering for everyone.

— John N. Clayton © 2024

Reference: Family Research Council

Extending Life Without Quality of Life

Extending Life Without Quality of Life

One of the challenges produced by the progress in medicine is the question of the role of doctors when a patient nears the time of death. In the old days, doctors had a code that said they would “do no harm,” which resulted in extending life without quality of life.

I had a personal experience with this issue when my disabled son Timothy was in the hospital after contracting COVID from a care worker. Doctors told me that Tim would never recover, but they had to give him a standard COVID treatment. Tim did survive but was not allowed to have any contact with family. He could not talk, was blind, could not stand or sit up, and could not feed himself. Eventually he was placed in a nursing home where I was allowed to visit him, and I did weekly. Although he could hear me, he was unable to respond. I read to him, tried to feed him, and ensured his stuffed animals were around him. After more than a year in the nursing home, he died.

The question in a case like Timothy’s becomes whether a doctor should be allowed to assist in dying when the apparent result was extending life without quality of life. Laws in Belgium, the Netherlands, and Canada allow doctors to administer euthanasia. The next step in these countries is to allow physicians to provide medical assistance in dying for the mentally ill. Canada has delayed the implementation of that option for physicians until 2027 to allow doctors and facilities time to adjust to this new law. Peter Singer, the DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, has advocated for euthanasia for virtually any cause.

For Christians, the issue is especially relevant. The New Testament in 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 says that God’s Spirit lives in our bodies and that the body is sacred for that reason. I Corinthians 6:15-17 uses that view to explain why prostitution is a sin. As modern medical science has advanced to the point of extending human life, it has also found ways to eliminate pain, but my son never showed evidence of suffering from pain. The problem remains of extending life without quality of life.

Euthanasia involves the same issues as abortion. Singer would empty prisons, nursing homes, and mental facilities by applying euthanasia to the people there. The fact is that much of the money spent on medical treatment is spent during the last year of life. Think of the savings if we were to eliminate everyone deemed to be within a year of dying. Do we really want to live in a culture that uses death as a means of removing a person who is inconvenient or difficult to sustain? But isn’t that what abortion is all about?

— John N. Clayton 2024

Reference: “Canada again delays assisted dying for the mentally ill” on BBC News for February 1, 2024.

Warnings from the Past by George Washington

Warnings from the Past by George Washington

Today is President’s Day in the United States, and it seems appropriate to think about some warnings from the past by our first president. On September 19, 1796, George Washington spoke to the young United States about the dangers the future could bring. It was his farewell address as president, and he said many prescient things as if he could see into the country’s future. He was not a prophet who could see the future, but he was a student of the past and knew the history of other nations.

Washington warned against minor factions bending the laws to put their needs above the needs of others. He warned about the dangers of excessive partisanship, making dangerous foreign alliances, going into debt, and engaging in unnecessary wars. He said the country must follow the Constitution, which creates checks and balances between the government’s executive, legislative, and judicial branches. He saw the dangers of allowing a consolidation of power into one branch or person because of selfish human nature. He did not want to be a king, and he did not want the nation to be under a human king.

Of George Washington’s many warnings from the past, there is none more important than his warning about the need for religion and morality to preserve the country. Here is a portion of what Washington had to say about that:

“Of all the dispostions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensible supports. … Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. … reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”

Thus, Washington said that morality is essential for preserving the nation and that morality cannot be maintained without religion. He also noted that “institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge” are of primary importance. The message of the Does God Exist? ministry is that scientific knowledge is compatible with faith in God. More than that, knowledge of the teachings of Jesus Christ and a faith commitment to follow Him leads to morality. Washington’s warnings from the past call for the strengthening of knowledge and religious faith. Today, the United States needs more leaders who share Washington’s wisdom.

— Roland Earnst © 2024

Reference: – We have also quoted other founders of the United States on religious faith HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Sow Seeds or Pull Weeds

Sow Seeds or Pull Weeds

We constantly get solicitations from people who want us to join them in fighting some national problem. Some of them say it is our duty as Christians to be part of their organization, party, or action. It is not my intention to tell anyone what they personally wish to do is wrong, but Christ’s message is not to involve His Church in partisan protests. In “Power For Today,” Gene Shelburne said it well: “Our primary duty is to sow seeds, not to pull weeds. We must remember that it is not our role to administer punishment. Weed pulling is God’s Job.”

That agrees with what Jesus taught in Matthew 13:24-30. His parable tells of a farmer’s attempt to sow seeds in his field where an enemy comes at night and sows destructive weeds. When the seeds germinate, it is evident that someone added weeds to the crop. The workers come to the farmer and ask if they should pull weeds. The farmer replies not to pull weeds because they will uproot the good seeds with them. He says that they should remove and burn the weeds when the harvest comes.

There is much that is wrong with our world. A military response is not the answer. Bombing an abortion clinic, setting fire to a liquor store, or shooting a person promoting prostitution is not the answer. The Church needs to sow seeds by teaching and showing that God’s plan is superior and that the help of the Holy Spirit will make a difference.

When Peter wanted to fight those seizing Christ, Jesus told him to put his sword away (Matthew 26:51-52). The Church must not get involved in politics or military-like actions. By training our young people and teaching all people by every means possible, we sow seeds that can change our country’s direction and impact the world. The forces of evil in the world will try to prevent us from sowing seeds, but the fruit of those forces will be bitter and destructive. History has repeatedly shown that God will take care of human evil in His time.

— John N. Clayton © 2024

Reference: Gene Shelburne writing in the February 22, 2024, issue of “Power For Today”

The Role of Religion in a Democracy

The Role of Religion in a Democracy - U.S. Constitution

People are waging a war of words concerning the role of religion in a democracy and whether the Christian faith should have any role in America’s future. An organization titled Americans United for the Separation of Church and State has sent out a plea for donations to fight what they call “Christian Nationalism.” They maintain that the government cannot support Christian values. With that goal in mind, they are engaged in several lawsuits against prayers at public gatherings and government support of schools with religious connections.

The opposing view comes from groups like the Association of Mature American Citizens, publishers of AMAC Magazine. They maintain that a “moral society flows from a focus on freely held faith” (James Madison). They also quote John Adams: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people.” AMAC also heavily quotes Jefferson and Washington in the view that America was founded by men who saw Christianity as the basis of human rights. What is the role of religion in a democracy?

There is a difference between maintaining that faith has no role in determining the rights of people and believing that there is only one faith that calls for certain moral rules to be law. Jesus made it clear that there is a separation between what we give to the government and what we give to the work of God. Matthew 22:21 says clearly, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

Thomas Jefferson said, “Neither Pagan nor Muslim nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth because of his religion.” That teaching is biblically sound, but the government must have a moral standard to govern by. In Romans 13:1-6, Paul tells Christians to support those who govern, “For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad” (verse 3). The question is, “How does a government decide what is right and what is wrong?”

There are experts like Peter Singer, the DeCamp Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, who maintain that the government should put to death anyone who is mentally ill, of great age, or in the late stages of a terminal disease. This flies in the face of Christian teachings, but some states are already implementing it in various ways, such as government support for the destruction of human life. If a politician holds to a religion that teaches that those who reach the age of 50 should be killed, how will that influence the practice of the government?

Madison talks about a “moral society,” and Adams speaks of the Constitution being made for a “moral and religious people.” So, what is the role of religion in a democracy? Christians support the separation of church and state, but the moral teachings of what is right and wrong cannot come from scholars, politicians, or some religions. The future of our children and grandchildren depends on getting people to understand that right and wrong do exist, and not all religions and political belief systems understand that.

— John N. Clayton © 2024

What Book Do You Swear By?

What Book Do You Swear By?

When people are sworn into public office, they commonly place their hand on a Bible and promise to faithfully execute the duties of that office. Courts used the same book for swearing in witnesses. Recently, some have substituted other books for the Bible. In Doylestown, Pennsylvania, on December 4, 2023, Karen Smith, the new school board president, took the oath of office with her hand placed on top of six books frequently challenged or banned from school libraries. What book do you swear by?

Deciding what books are appropriate for school libraries is a nation-wide issue. If school libraries are open to all students, is there an age level where a book is inappropriate? For example, the book Beyond Magenta promotes transgender lifestyle for teens and is one of the books Smith used for her swearing-in. Another is The Bluest Eye, with graphic depictions of a nine-year-old girl being sexually abused by her father. The book Night by Holocaust survivor and Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel accurately depicts his experience in a concentration camp, but is it appropriate reading for a second grader?

What book do you swear by? The fact that people are replacing the Bible with other religious books or books promoting atheism and alternate lifestyles is a reflection of American culture today. As society vilifies Christianity and religious belief, the choices of public officials become more secular. Churches, religious colleges, and universities are being forced to close their doors or give up their moral teachings. Public school restrooms must be open to all sexual orientations. As a retired public school high school teacher, I can only imagine the problems schools will face with the new standards.

— John N. Clayton © 2023


The Atheist State of America

Building decorated with red and green not allowed in the atheist state of America

As the U.S.A. sinks deeper into becoming the atheist state of America, we see continued political oppression of Christians. An example of this is in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Government officials there told city employees to refrain from displaying any religious symbols. That means even red and green decorations are prohibited on any public building. City officials say those colors are “associated with Christmas.” Workers for the city must use blue, green, and purple lights to recall the colors of aurora borealis (the northern lights) and to use only “snowflakes, snow people, and other nonreligious symbols.”

Elsewhere, school children and government workers are restricted from wearing anything that refers to Christianity. With the war in Gaza in the news, it is interesting that Muslim headwear and Jewish skull caps have not been banned, but atheists and secularists are working on that.

It seems obvious to any thinking person that Christianity played an essential role in the history of America. Trying to stamp out all Christian symbols and displays, especially during Christmas and Easter, while allowing symbols of other faiths to be displayed at any time of the year is an inconsistent government policy. The atheist state of America is not just a Christian issue; it is an American issue. It’s an issue of religious freedom. The founders of this country would be astounded by what is happening today.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: The Week for December 1, 2023.

Attacks on People of Faith

Attacks on People of Faith

If you read news reports other than the mainstream media, you have to be disturbed by recent stories about government attacks on people of faith.

One article told the story of an August 11, 2023, police raid on a private newspaper in Marion, Kansas. This small-town newspaper had written stories about government abuse of religious freedom and the immoral actions of public officials. The justification for the police raid was that they were seeking the names of sources of information leaked to the newspaper.

A group called “Reporters Without Borders” has written several reports of violence or intimidation of news reporters who wrote articles on government actions that violated the rights of private citizens. One such story was the case of Joe Kennedy, a coach in Bremerton, Washington, who knelt at the 50-yard line and prayed silently for 10 seconds after a high school football game. Kennedy was fired because the school system had banned any prayer on school property.

Joe Kennedy did not encourage his players to participate in the prayer, and he prayed after the game was over. He sued the school system. His case went to the Supreme Court in 2022, and the court agreed with Kennedy. The fact that the school system tried to stop prayer of any kind indicates where America is headed.

Students of American democracy and the intent of the founding fathers will recognize the abuse of government attacks on people of faith. Such attacks are not limited to the government. We have had phone calls from people threatening us for what we publish on this website. Freedom of the press and religion are enshrined in the First Amendment, and as America turns away from God and freedom, Christians face attacks on their faith.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

Reference: Elizabeth Colton in articles in the South Bend Tribune for August 27, 2023, page 12A, and Jeff Graham writing on September 3, 2023.

Struggles of American Public Schools

Struggles of American Public Schools

As a retired public school science teacher with a family involved in public education, I have been interested in the struggles of American public schools. The recent issue of the “Nation’s Report Card” shows reading scores at their lowest point in 50 years. The same report shows math scores among 13-year-olds at the lowest average level since 1990.

The public school concept was advanced in 1635 with the Boston Latin School. The first tax-supported public school in America was the Mather School, which opened in Dorchester, Massachusetts, in 1639. These schools taught the rudiments of literacy and arithmetic with the purpose that all men could read the Scriptures. In 1642, “proper education” was made compulsory.

Here we are in 2023, with one in four children growing up without learning to read. Students in our prison courses struggle because many Bible study students cannot read above a 4th-grade level. Statistics show that two out of three students who can’t read properly by the 4th grade end up on welfare or in jail. In 2013, 66% of the average 4th-grade children in the United States could not read proficiently, according to the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy.

Because of my experience in public school teaching, I don’t have any problem understanding the struggles of American public schools. During my teaching years, I saw two significant influences that inhibited learning. First, I was not given enough class time with the kids to teach them what I knew they needed to understand. I taught math and science and had the kids an hour a day for 186 days. I couldn’t cover everything I wanted the kids to know in 186 hours.

The second problem was attendance. I had an earth science class with 32 students. Most days, I would have about 20 kids present, but it was never the same 20. Kids would show up three times a week, but then they were often taken out of my class for fire drills, storm drills, pep assemblies, counselor sessions, testing, parent conferences, etc. Nobody ever explained how I could teach a kid I didn’t see.

Those problems were present 50 years ago and are much more true today. In addition, today, public school teachers are asked to teach and deal with social issues during class time. They have to worry about pronouns while teaching about racial issues, LGBTQ tolerance, sexual orientation, and political matters. Special interest groups and modern psychological theories dictate most of these topics. At the same time, the teacher has to avoid any reference to morality or biblical teaching about good and evil. No wonder we have a teacher shortage and low student educational levels.

When you throw out God and the Bible, how can you expect kids to understand today’s issues when even adults have no consensus on them? What do you expect to happen when kids cannot read and think for themselves? The struggles of American public schools only add to our society’s ignorance and misery. Meanwhile, the government persecutes Christian schools that try to offer an alternative to the defunct public education system. Christians can promote change, and it begins at the ballot box. What we need is thinking politicians who aren’t just promoting themselves.

— John N. Clayton © 2023

References: Nation’s Report Card and Wikipedia

Artistic Freedom and Personal Beliefs

Artistic Freedom and Personal Beliefs

A question of concern to Americans who believe in God is whether someone specializing in artistic creativity can be forced to create artwork that they find offensive. Recent cases involve artistic freedom and personal beliefs. The question becomes, can the government force custom art creators to create and display artwork that violates their personal religious beliefs?

Recent examples involve:
1- Cake artists forced to create a cake that celebrates a relationship that goes against the artist’s sincerely held religious beliefs.
2- Flourists required to create floral arrangements celebrating an event they find religiously offensive.
3- Website designers forced to create a website promoting something religiously offensive to the designer.
4- Wedding photographers required to photograph weddings that violate their religious beliefs.
5- Printers of custom T-shirts required to produce religiously offensive shirts.

(We have mentioned these in previous posts.)

In the past, the government has not punished artists who refused to produce art that the artist found offensive. However, recently that has changed. When the government forces an artist to create something that violates the artist’s personal beliefs, we have a real test of freedom of speech and religious freedom. Using our talents to express our beliefs is a fundamental right. Being forced by the government to use our gifts to express something that violates our beliefs and religious convictions violates freedoms guaranteed by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In Acts 4:16-20, we see political leaders threatening harm to Peter and John if they spoke anything in support of Christ. They responded, “Whether it be right to listen to you or to God, you decide, for we can not give up speaking about the things we have seen and heard.” Historically, authorities have tried to force Christians to deny their faith. America is at a crossroads in the area of artistic freedom and personal beliefs. We should not be forced to deny our faith or express something contrary to our religious beliefs.

— John N. Clayton © 2023