Scandal and the New Media – How Should Christians Respond?

By Jay Rogers

(Originally posted on http://www.forrunner.com on November 11, 2010. Note: This article is not copyrighted and may be reproduced in any form without permission.)

I got an email recently notifying me of an advertisement that U.S. Representative Bob Barr (R-GA) is appearing as a speaker on the Cruise for Liberty in January along with a couple of Christian authors whose work has greatly influenced me. The problem is that Barr, a former Libertarian candidate for president, brings a new meaning to the slogan, “Cruise for Liberty.”

Controversies over Bob Barr’s personal conduct

In 1999, during Clinton’s impeachment trial, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt offered money to anyone who could provide evidence that a prominent Republican had engaged in an extramarital affair. According to the American Journalism Review investigators for Flynt said that Barr was “guilty of king-size hypocrisy.” According to a sworn affidavit by Barr’s ex-wife Gail: Barr (a longtime outspoken opponent of abortion) had acquiesced to and paid for the termination of his then-wife’s pregnancy in 1983. In accordance with his public offer: Flynt subsequently paid a sum of money to Gail Barr after she had made her sworn affidavit. Barr never publicly disputed the contents of his ex-wife’s affidavit. Investigators also reported that Barr invoked a legal privilege during his 1985 divorce proceeding, so he could refuse to answer questions on whether he’d cheated on his second wife with the woman who is now his third.

In the early 1990s, Barr was photographed at a fundraising event licking whipped cream off of a woman. According to the Washington Post, “Two people who observed the act say it wasn’t exactly a bosom lick but more like a neckline lick, at the sort of event where business and civic leaders perform dares to raise money. ‘Not exactly Mr. Effusive’, says Matt Towery, the former chairman of Newt Gingrich’s political organization, who observed the brief and awkward licking. ‘You can hardly get the guy to smile.’”

I realize that conference speakers sometimes have to appear on a platform with people who they don’t agree with. However, this is billed as a Christian event with speakers who supposedly uphold God’s Word as a blueprint for liberty. It’s ironic that they feature Bob Barr, a man who is on his third wife and was accused by his second wife of having committed adultery and having paid for an abortion.

Or am I just being a busybody? Am I participating in scandal-mongering by posting this? Even if I knew nothing about the abortion and adultery allegations, it would still irk me that a man on his third wife is lecturing Christians about liberty.

The epistemologist (one who studies belief systems) should understand how compromise works to hijack our worldview. We end up allowing the worst demons of our own depravity to share a platform with the angels of our better nature. We wink at a little indiscretion from time to time due the excuse that we are “all sinners saved by grace.” We slowly allow this to turn slowly into an egregious violation of God’s moral law. In this case, the other conference speakers are winking at an allegation of adultery and murder through abortion. I don’t know if the allegations are true, but I also don’t see where other Christian speakers have addressed the propriety of appearing alongside this man.

To be completely fair, I should address that fact that the “dirt” on Barr was uncovered by Larry Flynt, a pornographer with an open political agenda, during the Bill Clinton impeachment hearings. However, it appears that the allegations were substantial and had enough traction to make it into the mainstream press. Here is an interesting article from the American Journalism Review that discusses the propriety of the “main stream media” exposing the Bob Barr scandal. It also discusses the role of the Internet as the driving force behind the “new media.”

The conclusion I have drawn after 15 years of administrating Forerunner.com is that the Internet is no different than a newspaper press except that it requires no money or training to publish. Therefore, scandal in the new media is so common that most take it with a grain of salt. The downside of this is that nothing is shocking anymore. If scandalous behavior becomes Internet “news” or is already part of public record for those who will connect the dots, then we are repeating what may already be found elsewhere. We should realize that allowing others to read public record and draw their own conclusions cannot be avoided. Most of the time people are commenting on what has already been commented on a thousand times before – Mel Gibson, Tiger Woods, Bob Barr, and so on – even before a civil suit can be written or jury can render a verdict. For better or for worse, the new media is the police, judge, jury and executioner of human character.

For many years, people found it acceptable for journalists to blow the lid off political and private life scandals if the story made it through the rigorous grid of ethical procedural journalism. This was their job. They knew best. Or did they? Now with the Internet, anyone may by pass through this ethical grid with no rigor. As Christians, we are dealing with a new species of animal with the ability to reach thousands at our fingertips in a few microseconds.

The ethics of doing so needs to be examined, but we’ve passed into a time when the genie is out of the bottle. By the time of the Cruise for Liberty in January, many of the attendees will know all about Bob Barr due to the Internet and they will have drawn their own conclusions.

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Jay Rogers is the Founder of The Forerunner International (a/k/a Media House International) and has been writing since the 1980’s. Jay has also acted as script writer and associate producer for several Christian videos, including The Real Jesus and God’s Law and Society. He has a heart for Missions, is a fierce pro-life advocate and activist, and is currently the Director of The Forerunner – http://www.forerunner.com . He and his lovely wife Kalia now live in Kissimmee, Florida.

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The Day After the Elections – A Biblical Perspective

The cultural shift toward Darwinian humanism was displayed in its fullest form yet in the elections of 2008 in the US. Here is one theologian’s perspective that I HOPE will be the normal reaction from professing Christians to this year’s presidential election.

Since you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ, in God. Colossians 3:1-3

(Video) Obama Blocked a BAIPA Bill in the Illinois State Senate – 4 times!!! How Will YOU Vote on Nov. 4th??

You Tube URL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suTvLe7kYDE

Senator Barack Obama voted to block a BAIPA bill – Born Alive Infant Protection Act – in the Illinois Senate… 4 times. Is this the kind of man we want sitting in the Oval Office? Or do we want someone sitting there who will affirm life? You decide this Nov. 4th… with your vote. Don’t stay home and essentially vote present… cast an early ballot, or go to the polling place on election day.

Please repost this video on your personal blogs, and send it to your friends and family via email. Be sure to go to the You Tube page and rate it and feel free to leave a comment…

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.” Prov 31:8 NIV

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Massacre of Innocence

True Colors – The Blatant Arrogance of Eugenics

The Quick and the Dead

Abortionist Indicted in 2007 Abortion Death of 22 Year Old Woman

A Barnstable County, Massachusetts grand jury has indicted former Massachusetts abortionist Rapin Osathanondh in the abortion related death of 22 year old Laura Hope Smith. The grand jury investigation discovered attempts by Osathanondh, who was a Harvard Fellow, to cover up his neglect of safety procedures that resulted in the death of Miss Smith on September 13th, 2007.

Eileen Smith, Laura’s mother, spoke with CWA Policy Analyst Martha Kleder about this latest development.

Abortion Doctor Indicted in \"Legal\" Abortion Death. Evidence Shows Cover-up.

It’s time for the church to wake up on this issue. It’s not just the babies lives that are at stake.

Death By Legal Abortion

You might have thought when you read the title of this post that I was referring to the babies involved in the abortion procedure. Everyone knows that an abortion ends the life of a human being (and I am using scientific terminology when I call a “fetus” a human being. Check your biology textbooks…), but I was actually referring to deaths involving the patient… women seeking legal abortions dying along with their “fetus” (baby).

A great majority of the public has a very limited understanding about abortion and everything it entails. Many consider it the “right” of a woman to determine what she does with her own body, and unless you are thinking truly in biblical terms, I suppose that it is the right of a woman to do what she wants to with her own body… but what about someone else’s body? But I’m not even going to get into that here. I’m talking about women who have died at the hands of abortionists… as a direct result of seeking out a legal abortion.

These women were not seeking out a back-alley abortionist. They went to storefront abortion clinics and licensed hospitals. They went in thinking they were making their lives easier and ending unwanted pregnancies. They exited either in ambulances or body bags. These are REAL WOMEN, making a choice they believed in enough to walk into a clinic, thinking that abortion is always safe.

They were wrong.

THE TOMBSTONE PROJECT is a list of women who have died from an abortion procedure. Life Dynamics sells a poster of this list with these tragic occurrences up to the year 1998. This is not a complete list, and the list has been lengthened since the poster was designed and printed.

So, if you think that no one gets hurt by legal abortion, think again. The life you save may be your own…

“Health” Abortion Kills Two Instead of One – A Look Into One Tiller Abortion and How It Effected A Woman’s Life… Forever.

It is said by many pro-lifers that when a woman gets an abortion, two walk into the clinic, but only one comes out alive.

In January of 2005, an ambulance was called to one of George Tiller’s clinics. The body of a 19 year old down syndrome woman was taken by that ambulance to a local hospital, but it was too late. She was dead before she ever left Tiller’s clinic. (Please! No Sirens! was the plea of the clinic worker calling for an ambulance… those kinds of things draw too much attention, don’t they?)

The clinic apparently showed considerable negligence when contacting EMS, claiming the patient was not in any serious, life-threatening danger, when in fact she had already gone into septic shock and was well on her way to death’s door… she was in cardiac arrest and the person trying to revive her was performing CPR on a clinically dead patient.

Christin Gilbert is just one example of a women who went into an abortion clinic for an “elective” abortion who was irreversibly harmed by the abortion she “chose”. One must note that Miss Gilbert, although 19 years old and considered an adult, had down syndrome and was considered incompetent and so her parents made the decision to abort her child. Unfortunately for the child, it was the product of a sexual assault. I’m sure the parents reasoned that the child’s birth would have been too traumatic for their daughter.

One must also make a note (and highlight it in very florescent yellow ink) that in order to do a late-term abortion as Tiller was once able to legally perform until the Supreme Court upheld a federal ban on them, the parents (or husband, friend, or other caretaker) are charged with the care of the individual (NOT a medical professional) in a hotel room for the entire three day abortion process, with the exception of the short period of time the patient is actually undergoing the direct “medical” procedures, such as the injection of a lethal substance into the heart of the pre-born “fetus”, premature dilation of the cervix, and labor induction.

The facts in Christin’s case show the flimsy logic of many pro-abortion proponents who argue that abortion should be allowed at any stage for the “health of the mother”, claiming that if a woman’s health is at stake, she should be able to get an abortion, even if the fetus is at a viable stage. This abortion was stamped big as day with an okay for health reasons. Perhaps Christin’s loss is an acceptable one for them, but I doubt her poor parents felt the same way once it was all over.

Christin was healthy and had no other disorders or health issues other than being a down syndrome person. She was not in any immediate danger because of her pregnancy. The child’s DNA was not tested to determine whether it would also have Down Syndrome… but even if it were tested, is a person’s value based on whether or not they have Down Syndrome? Was Christin less valuable because of her condition? And WHY was this not NATIONAL NEWS considering the charges that have been leveled at Tiller and his clinics?

Read more about the details of this case at REAL CHOICE.

This incident gives new meaning to the term assigned to George Tiller by many pro-life workers… Tiller the Killer, and for this case especially, that unsavory moniker rings so very true.

Steven Curtis Chapman to Perform In Euless, Texas After Family Tragedy

Steven Curtis Chapman, to perform in Euless, Texas just weeks after the tragic accident that took the life of his 5 year old daughter, Maria, on May 21st. According to the Star-Telegram of Fort Worth, the concert will be an intimate musical presentation hosted by the Mid Cities Crisis Pregnancy Center on Friday, July 18th at 7 pm. If you live in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, you can get more info HERE.