Congress Is Doing Better Than We Are Being Told -One Of The Most Productive In Three Decades: Good News Friday today on WallBuilders Live!  Tune in now to hear about just some of the good things that have been happening in our country recently. In this episode, we discuss things such as, the current Congress is one of the most productive in three decades, Federal Appeals Court rules county meetings may open with prayer, many pro-life wins for the nation, and so much more! Tune in or read now to find out more! 

Air Date: 09/22/2017


Guests: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast.  However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture, this is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture, all of it from a Biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective. Always taking the approach of those three things when we’re looking at an issue of the day and determining what the right course of action is.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also, Tim Barton, national speaker, pastor, and president of WallBuilders. And my name is Rick Green, I’m a former Texas state legislator, national speaker, and author.

Find out more about us and the ministry at WallBuilders.com, a wealth of information there available for you, your Sunday school class, and your school. Then also go to WallBuildersLive.com, that’s our radio site where you can get a list of all the stations we’re on across the country. You can also get the archives of the last few months and go back and catch some programs you might have missed.

In fact, today is Friday so it’s Good News Friday. It’s a chance for David and Tim to catch us up on a lot of the good things that have happened across the country and around the world. If you like that stuff, which I know you will, you’re going to want to go on the website and grab some of those earlier Friday programs as well.

We can only get so much in our one day of good news here. David, Tim, looking forward to some rapid fire good news. David, I think you’re up first.

What Has The National Congress Done In Substantive Legislation

David:

We’re going to look at the National Congress for a minute. And by the way, we already have seen what’s happened- or should I say, what has not happened with the National Congress.

Look at all the things that they have not gotten done. When you look at the Congress and here that Republicans have the house, they have the Senate, the Republicans have the presidency, it doesn’t look like they’ve been able to do just a whole lot. Can you name anything substantive that the Congress has done this year?

Tim:

Created frustrations.

David:

By the way, just so that we define our terms here, for what’s considered substantive legislation out of Congress is those things that do not rename buildings, or award medals, or commemorate historic events, or name post off- anything other than that. Pure policy-

Rick:

There is activity, right? We’ve had some guests on like Marsha Blackburn and others that are using their committees to try to make as much happen as possible and bring the sunlight to a lot of issues.

But in terms of legislation actually getting done, what was your word? Substantive?

David:

Substantive legislation.

Tim:

Well, for Texans, we have the Hurricane Harvey relief and that’s probably the only positive thing I can name.

David:

Yeah.

Rick:

I really can’t think of anything. As many shows as we’ve done this year, there’s been a lot of action on the president’s part. We’ve even talked about his executive orders being within the constitutional authority. But in terms of actually- I mean, he has pushed for some things to be done through Congress but I can’t, I’m sure there are, and I’m just blanking because it’s been- what has it been? Nine to ten months? Surely something good has come out. You got a list there, David? Are you going to give us some that we forgot?

Congress Is One Of The Most Productive In Three Decades

David:

Are you guys really underinformed? I mean, this is embarrassing. Talk show host and you don’t have a clue what’s going on in the nation? Look, Pew Research Center keeps up with this and they rank every single Congress. I can just tell you, based on the numbers, this is one of the most productive Congresses we’ve had in the last 32 years. They’ve already passed 46 substantive pieces of legislation, 46.

I can’t believe you guys never listen to the news because this has been all over the news, how productive this Congress has been. Wait a minute, maybe we haven’t heard that from the news.

Rick:

Not a bit.

David:

Forty-Six substantive laws signed by the president so far that’s gone through the House, gone through the Senate, 14 of them have been really big because they have gone back and overturned massive Obama era regulations. So they’re freeing up businesses-

Rick:

Wait, you’re saying actually passed, not just talked about?

David:

The President said in his speech before Labor Day, “This has been one of the most productive Congresses. I have signed so many laws.” But everybody said, “Yeah, right. You can’t even get Obamacare repeal passed.” Yeah, if that’s all the media is looking at. You haven’t got that passed but how about the 46 that you have got passed?

Again, according to Pew Research who keeps track of all the bills passed every year and every Congress, this is one of the most productive Congresses we’ve had. This is measured up to Labor Day when they were looking at this. Up through Labor Day this has been one of the most productive Congresses in the last 30 years.

Rick:

I certainly knew none of that. All I’ve seen is every time there’s a fight between the Republican leadership and Congress and the president it’s front page news and everybody talks about it. Honestly, my perception of the whole thing has been that they can’t get their act together and get anything done.

David:

Are you suggesting the media is trying to polarize people?

Rick:

I guess so, yes.

David:

Are you suggesting that they’re not friendly to what’s being done by the legislature? Rick, I can’t believe you’d be so cynical. Oh wait a minute, national polling shows the media is on the other side of most Americans.

Again, one of the most productive Congresses in the last 30 years. Already there have been 46 pieces of substantive pieces of legislation signed into law by President Trump, not counting all the non-substance stuff. He was right when he said that this has been a really busy time and his administration has done more than any others in years. Yeah, that was not hyperbole, that’s actual fact.

Rick:

That’s surprisingly good news. Quick break, we’ll be right back with more good news. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

Chasing American Legends

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Iowa’s, Shockingly, Pro-Life Bill That Passed

Rick:

Thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live, on this Good News Friday! You can get more good news at our website WallBuildersLive.com! Tim Barton is up next with some good news, Tim?

Tim:

We’re going to Iowa for this one, guys. This is something that I as I read this article, there’s a lot of things that were kind of a revelation to me. The overarching good news is that Iowa has become another state to ban abortion after 20 weeks. Obviously, very positive.

Some of the information coming out from Iowa is that they talk about if the baby is capable of feeling pain then there should be no exception for abortion because at this point you’re murdering a child, an unborn child who can feel pain.

However, they did kind of add this on the end that if it is threatening the life of the mother that’s an exception. However, beyond the defense of the life of the mother- So this is positive news that certainly, we’ve heard from other states. We’re seeing the nation kind of go this direction, supporting and defending the life of the unborn children.

What’s interesting is in Iowa, this was actually a big battle because they did not have a pro-life Senate. So, to get this done, it wasn’t as easy as sometimes we think about it in some of the more conservative states, or at least states that have more conservative legislators like in their state offices.

So, Iowa, it took them a while to get a pro-life Senate. Finally, they get this pro-life Senate, then they get this pro-life measure passed. What’s interesting is, before this, Iowa as a state was one of the most permissive on abortions, allowing abortion on demand well beyond the five months or more than the halfway period of the pregnancy.

Why that’s significant is because the United States is one of only seven nations that allows abortion on demand after five months of pregnancy.

David:

Only- 195 nations and America one out of only seven?

Tim:

And this article doesn’t identify who the seven are. It’s from life news, so they’ve had this documented, I’m sure we could email them and ask, “Hey where are these nations?” It might be interesting to guess.

Rick:

We used to be the nation that would lead in terms of good, in terms of morality, and in terms of missionary work, and all of those things. Now we’re leading in terms of death.

Tim:

What’s interesting too is that after 20 weeks, the baby is fully formed. The baby at that point is fully developed and arguably viable at that point. And we still have states, and Iowa was up until this year, a state that said, “If you want to just come in and kill that unborn child in your womb, women, that’s fine you can do that.”

Finally, now having gotten a pro-life Senate there in Iowa they were able to get this pro-life legislation done. And it was signed by Governor Terry Branstad there in Iowa. So it’s really, really, positive news. But it was still a little shocking to me to see that we’re one of only seven nations still allows that.

Certainly, there’s more work to be done in some of these states that still promote those kinds of things whether it be New York, or California, or some of those more liberal states. But we are seeing positive traction and in a state like Iowa that was not able to get this done for a long time and now getting it done. We are seeing things go the right direction. So it is really good news.

Federal Appeals Court Rules County Meetings May Open With Prayer

Rick:

Alright, David, you got a quick piece for us before we go to break?

David:

I’ve got a quick piece! We have a good news piece of information out of Michigan, up in Jackson County Michigan. We’ve just had a decision handed down at this point by the Federal Circuit Court for the sixth circuit that said, “It is fine for the county commissioners in Jackson County Michigan to open with prayer.”

This is a big issue that continues to go across the United States even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled just a few years ago that it’s fine. I think there is the town of Greece versus some group. But they ruled that, “Yes, you can have invocations open with county meetings, and city meetings, and public meetings.”

We’re still having a lot of challenges to that and still, a lot of judges say, “No, you can’t.” But here you have the six Federal Circuit Court of Appeals saying, “Yup, absolutely fine. You can open with prayer in county courts in Michigan.”  

And by the way, that will also apply to the other states within the six Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. So that’s a decision that will apply literally to thousands of communities and others in that jurisdiction. That’s good news.

Rick:

Good news on the life issue, good news on public expressions of faith, and prayer. Stay with us folks, we’ll have more good news when we come back on WallBuilders Live!

Bring A Speaker To Your Area

Tim:

Hey, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders.  And as you’ve had the opportunity to listen to WallBuilders Live, you’ve probably heard a wealth of information about our nation, about our spiritual heritage, about the religious liberties, and about all the things that make America exceptional.

And you might be thinking, “As incredible as this information is, I wish there was a way that I could get one of the WallBuilders guys to come to my area and share with my group.”

Whether it be a church, whether it be a Christian school, or public school, or some political event, or activity, if you’re interested in having a WallBuilders speaker come to your area, you can get on our website at www.WallBuilders.com and there’s a tab for scheduling. If you’ll click on that tab, you’ll notice there’s a list of information from speakers bio’s, to events that are already going on. And there’s a section where you can request an event, to bring this information about who we are, where we came from, our religious liberties, and freedoms. Go to the WallBuilders website and Bring a speaker to your area.

21 Abortion Clinics Have Closed in 2017

Rick:

Welcome back to WallBuilders Live on this Good News Friday. Thanks for staying with us. Tim Barton has got some more good news to start with in this segment, Tim?

Tim:

Guys, this is more from the pro-life sector. In my stack, I just have so much pro-life good news, I’m pretty much just pulling from the top and these are what’s coming up. So, it’s not specifically a pro-life day for me it’s just that there’s so much in my stack that is pro-life related.

This one is an article that identifies 21 abortion clinics have closed down in 2017. Now, we’ve talked about before how much we are seeing in various states. Abortion clinics have closed down.

Well, they’ve identified 21 that have closed in 2017. Actually, it was in the first five months of 2017. So that’s a pretty good average for five months. You’re talking four roughly a month that have been closing down.

They broke down the different kind of facilities, seven were surgical abortion facilities, five were medication abortion, and nine were actually abortion referrals where you come in and they help you find out how to get an abortion.

Nonetheless, all 21 of those have closed down in the states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Virginia, that closed because of their own bad behaviors. It goes through and really just gives a breakdown of all these facilities and why they closed whether it was financial, or whether they had violated certain practices, whatever the case is. Overall, it’s just good news that we are seeing these abortion clinics closed down.

It does mean that more babies lives are being saved, more of these unborn children will be birthed, will be delivered, and have the opportunity to live out the plan and purpose God has for them. It’s just great news seeing a lot of this abortion industry being shut down. And great news for the pro-life movement.

Rick:

Again, Tim, I feel like a broken record myself because I always respond to you when you have these, “I’ve lost count,” because I have lost count. I would actually love to know how many total clinics have closed in the last few years and how many are left.

It’s almost like a way to measure how much success we’re having in the pro-life movement, not only legislatively, a lot of these things happen because of good legislation. But it really is the hearts and minds situation where they are changing and the country is becoming more and more pro-life and there are more and more organizations out there to meet the needs of a young mother and keep her from making that decision to have an abortion.

So, there are all these things that have just seemed to have been coming together over the last few years to create these stories where almost every week you’ve got another clinic that you’re telling us about that’s closed. So it just continues to be great news on that front.

Tim:

It really is. Rick, one of the things, not to go unnoticed, and mentioned is the fact that you mention we’re having all this positive legislation but we’re seeing the hearts and minds people change.

The reason we’re having the positive legislation is because the hearts and minds of people have changed and we’re now electing people to office who have that different mentality.

You don’t elect all of these Biblical, conservative, life, whatever kind of label you want to put on them. You don’t have these kinds of people elected to office unless there are people in their communities, in their districts that go, “You’re the kind of person I want to represent me. Those values that you have, that’s what I want to represent me.”

So the fact that we’re having so much positive legislation passed is a reflection also the indication of the people and where they are which is also why we’re seeing these abortion clinics closed, whether it’s from legislation, or that people aren’t going anymore, and they’re not making the money whatever it is, we are definitely seeing a change of mind and heart in this nation.

Second Circuit Court Of Appeals Upholds Catholic School Firing  

Rick:

Good stuff, all right David, what do you have next?

David:

Rick, I’m going to a federal circuit court of appeals. The second Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which is one of the new northeastern kind of courts of appeals. This is one that goes up and to the New York area, etc.

In this, you have a Catholic school that fired a principal because the principal was- whatever lifestyle, beliefs, whatever was inconsistent with church doctrine. That principle filed a lawsuit and said, “That’s gender discrimination. You fired me because of my gender and who I am, etc.” And if you’re going to do that case, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York is probably the right place to be doing that.

Except, the Second Circuit Court came down on the side of the church and said, “As we have had since the very beginning that there are hiring protections and that churches have the right to choose people that are consistent with their beliefs, and their values, and who teach those beliefs and values.”

We actually had back in 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of a Lutheran church who fired a woman because she didn’t line up, and wasn’t behaviorally, and etc. what they wanted representing a Lutheran organization. That went all the way the U.S. Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court said, “No, churches get to hire and fire based on beliefs.”

So, in a climate where you can’t discriminate against anybody and everybody’s got rights, the courts continue to recognize, “No, churches don’t have to do that. They can hire people.” Now, we haven’t quite seen this permeate the college campuses like it needs to because so many college campuses are telling Christian clubs that they have to hire secular people in their leadership and that they can’t restrict their leadership just to Christian organization.

Nonetheless, here in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals this really is a big deal to be able to win a case in New York at a Catholic church. And by the way, the brief for this lady on the other side of the brief was unbelievable.

“This firing is allowed to stand. It threatens democracy and it will cause abuse of children in all religious schools everywhere. It will endanger the Jewish religion and Muslim-” I mean, the hyperbole they used in the brief was absolutely unbelievable. Nonetheless, the court came down on the side of, “No, churches have the right for hiring protections. They can hire and fire according to their beliefs.”

Rick:

It’s a very important decision. Like you said, especially in this environment where we’re trying to tell people who they can assemble with, another First Amendment right, who they can work with, and what kind of values they can even have in their private organization. A very, very important decision. Got to take a quick break, we’ll be right back. More good news here on WallBuilders Live.

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Jeff Mateer From First Liberty Is A President Trump Nominee

Rick:

Welcome back, thanks for staying with us on WallBuilders Live! Final segment of good news on our Good News Friday, today. We’ve got a little extra time for our final segment. You guys load us up. David, I think, no actually, Tim, you’re up first on good news for this segment.

Tim:

Yeah, I’ll jump in real quick. This is from New Jersey. This is, I guess, more specifically from a court. A judge helping resolve this. But, the situation is from New Jersey but it actually happened back in 2012 and it’s only just now being resolved.

It involves Walt Tutka. He was represented by our friends over at First Liberty, that’s Kelly Shackelford, and Hiram Sasser, and Mike Barry, and lots of guys we have-

David:

And by the way, Jeff Mateer is over there who was with First Liberty and he went to work for the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxson. And President Trump has just nominated Jeff Mateer, one of our good friends, as a federal judge in Texas which is really, really good news. Which by the way, is also good news about the type of judges that President Trump is nominating all the way down to the district court level, they’re really good guys. But I’m sorry Tim, back to First Liberty and the great guys there who represent folks.

Substitute Teacher Fired For Giving A Student The Bible Is Now Reinstated

Tim:

Back in 2012, there was a teacher in New Jersey school district, actually, it was Philipsburg, a school district. He was a substitute teacher at that time. He was holding the door open, students were going in and out, and in the midst of all that was happening as a student toward the back of the line, you would presume, walks in. He says, “Well, the last shall be first and the first shall be last.”

And the student looked over at him as says, “I don’t know what that means.” And so the students begin questioning Walt and, “Hey, what does that mean? Where did that come from?” And Walt was kind of putting him off. You can only imagine if Walt thought, “Hey, I’m not sure what I can and can’t say.”

David:

That is a Bible verse, “The last shall be first and first will be last.” That is a Bible phrase, a Bible verse, a Bible quote, a Bible idiom if you will.

Tim:

Yeah. It’s something from the gospels, Jesus says this. So finally Walt says, “Well, you know what, just come over my desk.” So Walt pulls out his Bible, opens up his Bible, and shows him where Jesus actually said that.

And the student goes, “Wow, that’s really cool.” And Walt says, “Yeah, well here’s the reference, here’s the verse, you can look it up in your Bible when you get home.” And the student says, “I actually don’t have a Bible.” Walt says, “Oh, well here, you can have mine.”

So Walt gives him the Bible. That should be innocuous, no big deal, no problem except, of course, there are people that get offended by that. And so the Americans United for Separation of Church and State found out and said, “Whoa, you can’t give a Bible to a student in school.” So they sue Walt, sue the school district for what’s going on.

And the school district actually sides with the Americans United for Separation of Church or State saying, “Yeah, you really are not allowed to do that.” He gets suspended. He then gets fired, removed, and isn’t allowed to be a substitute teacher anymore. First Liberty steps in and says, “Ok, no. That’s totally wrong, the decision you’re making. He’s allowed to talk to a student about the Bible. The student asked, he’s allowed to give this Bible.”

Which by the way, is even in the school library. So he can’t give the student a book that is in your school library. What’s interesting is First Liberty was actually joined in this by an unlikely ally.

The Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission joined in and said, “Oh yeah, you can’t fire someone.” And went to Title Seven of the 1964 Civil Rights Act which forbids religious discrimination against public employees. And they said, “You fired him because of this religious act and you’re allowed to fire someone because of his religious act because that violates the Civil Rights Act.” You’d never would have thought that the EEOC is coming out siding with First Liberty, but they did.

First Liberty ends up winning this case. Hiram Sasser comes out and talks about the great victory it is, the positive things they’re seeing. But this is New Jersey where certainly we’ve seen a lot of negative things happen when it comes to religious liberty when it comes to schools up there in the New England states. They don’t always do a good job defending our religious liberty and especially even for employees of the state, in this case a teacher.

But, Walt is reinstated, he is now back teaching kids, he said, “I am back getting to do the thing I love, which is working with kids again. So excited to be back.” So, this is really good news that even though he had to wait several years to get back there, he’s finally reinstated and can go back to teach students. And, he did not get penalized for giving a student the Bible who wanted to know more about the Bible. So really good news.

Rick:
And like you said, unusual that this area of the law in this department is actually defending religious liberty. It’s usually defending all kinds of left wing things. So good news on a lot of fronts.

Tim:

And by the way guys, EEOC, they jumped in with First Liberty under the Obama administration. So this isn’t a new thing with Trump that, “Oh, now we’re doing the right thing.” This was even more shocking because it was under the Obama administration that this happened. So really good news.

Rick:

Excellent. David, your last piece of good news for today?

University Fires Professor Who Called Harvey ‘Karma’ For Texas GOP

David:

I’ve got one for you. This is a tweet I’m going to read to you. We talked last week about all the good things that are happening around the disaster that happened in Texas, HurricaneHarveyy, and others, Irma, etc.

But we’ve talked about Harvey and how people stepped up. Then this tweet came out, with all the devastation that was with Harvey, this tweet says, “I don’t believe in instant karma but this kind of feels like it for Texas. Hopefully, this will help them realize the GOP doesn’t care about them.”

Wait a minute, the hurricane is karma for Texas because of the GOP? Really?

Tim:

That’s not going to go well.

David:

Who said it? A professor. A professor tweeted this out, he’s at the University of Tampa. And we know how universities are, they fired him. “That doesn’t happen in universities.” Yeah, the university cut ties with this professor and said that was unacceptable. Actually, they issued a statement from the University of Tampa that says, “As Floridians, we are well aware of the destruction and suffering associated with tropical weather. Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by Hurricane Harvey.”

Rick:

Wait a minute. David, are you making this up?

Rick:

No. I’m telling you, man, it’s unbelievable coming out of a university, getting rid of a professor who smashed the GOP and blamed the hurricane on God and GOP and the university not only cut ties but they actually say, “We’re praying for the guys there in Texas.” Unbelievably good news from the University of Tampa.

Rick:

A public university as well. I started to believe what you were saying thinking, “It must be a private university.” But no, it’s unbelievable. Good stuff, lots of good news. You guys always have more than we can fit in so there will be more next week, folks. Be sure to check it out on our website WallBuildersLive.com. We appreciate you listening to this good news Friday on WallBuilders Live!