Monthly Archives: April 2013

Inglorious Revolutions

RELIGION | Anglican angst deepens over gay bishops and the church’s relationship to the royal family

Thomas Kidd, Worldmag.com, Jan. 25, 2013 
Nicholas Okoh
The Church of England has announced that it is open to appointing gay men in civil partnerships as bishops, as long as their gay union is “celibate.” The decision came on the heels of an equally controversial decision in November 2012 that the church would not approve women as bishops. The worldwide Anglican communion has struggled with the issue of homosexuality for a decade, starting with the 2003 election of the openly gay priest Gene Robinson as the bishop of New Hampshire.

Observers see England’s new policy as a response to the case of Rev. Jeffrey John, a gay priest also nominated in 2003 to serve as the Bishop of Reading. John withdrew his candidacy because of the controversy his appointment created. In 2006, John and his longtime partner entered a civil union, although John has maintained that their relationship is not sexual. As reported by The Guardian, John said of the new policy that “if it is genuinely true that all levels of ordained ministry are now more open to gay people than they were before, then this is a very good thing.” But Rev. Colin Coward, director of Changing Attitude, a group that advocates for inclusion of gays in the Anglican Church, is not convinced, saying that he could not envision any homosexual, aside perhaps from Jeffrey John, actually becoming a bishop. “I would only believe they are serious when it happens,” Coward says.

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The Homecoming of My Daddy

By Douglas Winston Phillips
April 26, 2013

He was the most courageous and principled statesman of his generation, and a larger-than-life figure who inspired hundreds of thousands. But to me, he was my father — the daddy who loved me, motivated me, encouraged me, and showed me a universe of kindness. He was the man who put the Bible in my hand and told me to believe every word; the man who required that I do things “right,” the man who showed me the world, and the man who taught me the meaning of holy vision.

On April 20, the Lord Jesus Christ called my Daddy, Howard J. Phillips, into eternity at 3:50 p.m. (EDT). Now free from the reminder of the Adamic curse in two of its most wretched and dehumanizing manifestations (Alzheimer’s and FLD), Dad has no more need of his former earthly husk. His immortal soul is free. The cloud has been lifted and the shackles have been loosed. Once again, Dad has eyes to see and ears to hear, though for the present, they are of a spiritual nature as he awaits the resurrection of the body.

This week, there are many significant articles being written on the life of my father. From the New York Times, to the Washington Post, to various conservative and Christian news outlets, my father is rightly being remembered as the man who defined, for his generation, courageous, principled leadership in defense of biblical and constitutional priorities for civil government and public policy.

He is remembered as the only man to be twice elected Student Council President of Harvard, and as the Nixon appointee and unflappable Acting Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) who sought to shut down a radical, liberal government agency most responsible for advancing the cause of baby killing. He is remembered as one of the founders and intellects behind the Moral Majority and what has been described by detractors as “The Religious Right.” He is remembered as one of the most uncompromising and articulate warriors who tirelessly fought for the life of the unborn, as an opponent of Communism and Marxism in all of its forms, as one of the men behind the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), and as a great defender of the national security interests of the United States.

Of course, Dad is also being remembered as a three-time candidate for President of the United States, and founder of the Conservative Caucus, the United States Taxpayer’s Alliance, and the Constitution Party, and one of the founders of the Council on National Policy. He is remembered as a bulldog in defense of the biblical family, and the man who could not be bought by compromising Republicans or threatened by liberals, and who treated all public policy-makers and politicians alike — regardless of party or personal background — as individuals who were accountable to the same objective standard.

How I Remember Dad

This is how many of you know my father. He was all of these things — unflappable, relentless, principled, and courageous. But to me, he was first a man who embodied a simple child-like faith in the sovereign God and His perfect revelation, the Holy Bible. He was the most humble, confident man I ever met. He thought little of himself, but much of the message upon which he dedicated his life. Dad was a man who modeled kindness and a generosity of spirit that I have not seen equaled. And Dad was a true father — the type you read about in the Bible. One who walked with me “in the way,” constantly discipling me, sharing his life and wisdom with me, and letting me always know — in word, deed, and physical affection — that he deeply loved me and believed in me.

Honoring Dad This Monday

This Monday, I will be joining my family as we honor our father and bury him. God willing, I will be publishing an article on the meaning of the life of Howard Phillips to be released at the time of my father’s memorial service and burial. It would mean a great deal to me if you would read it.

For now, I want to share my last personal moments with Dad.

The Bible has much to say about the final moments in a man’s life. This was my experience.

Before my father’s death, I was able to spend the better part of a full day pouring out my heart to him. I spent hours going year by year — from year one and almost to the present — thanking him for what he did for me in each year. It was amazing what God brought to my remembrance. But it reminded me of what an ungrateful wretch I am for not having remembered all my father had done sooner — for truly I could have gone on for weeks and not begun to touch even just the highlights of my father’s sacrificial life for me.

I gathered my children around the bed with Dad, and our last song to him was “Nearer My God to Thee.” I cannot describe to you how that experience affected me or what it meant to me deep, deep in my soul.

I made sure that each of my eight children had time alone with Dad. As they would walk into the room, I would grab them, look them in the eye, and prepare them for a final goodbye. Because Dad was incapable of giving a patriarchal blessing at the time of his death, I used the private time of each child with my father to speak to them about the finality of this moment and the hope of Heaven. I then took my father’s hand and placed it on each child, and I spoke the words of blessing that I believe my father would have spoken had he been able to do so. Beall recorded them so they would never forget.

Then I spent my final time alone with Dad. I spoke to him of the beauty of Heaven and of all his friends he would soon be talking with, from Moses to Abraham to his spiritual father, Dr. R.J. Rushdoony.

Daddy’s last words spoken to me on this earth were, “I love you.”

As much as you love your father, it is impossible to appreciate the strength of the bond until it is severed. There is no preparing for it or for the feeling of being cut loose from one’s moorings and being cast adrift without such a rock in your life. It is impossibly hard.

Daddy, I loved you to the depths of my being. You were the greatest man I knew and the inspiration for my life. It will always be one of the life-defining honors to have been your son. Right now, I just want to be fourteen again standing by your side, proudly watching you slay dragons. I miss you terribly.

  Douglas Phillips,
President, Vision Forum Ministries

Memorial Service in Honor of Howard J. Phillips

Those of you who desire to honor my father’s life are welcome to join us for his public Memorial Service, to be held in the Smith Center of McLean Bible Church, 8925 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA, on Monday, April 29, at 11:00 a.m.

Bowdoin College: Where Politics Run Wild

“Bowdoin College has no curricular requirements that center on the American founding or the history of the nation.  Even history majors aren’t required to take a single course in  American history…One of the few requirements is that Bowdoin students  take a yearlong freshman seminar.  Some of the 37 seminars offered this year: ‘Affirmative Action and U.S. Society,’ ‘Fictions of Freedom,’ ‘Racism,’ “Queer Gardens’ (which ‘examines the work of gay and lesbian gardeners and traces how marginal identities find expression in specific garden spaces’), ‘Sexual Life of Colonialism’ and ‘Modern Western Prostitutes.’”  David Feith, The Wall Street Journal, April 6-7, 2013, p. 11

The Golf Shot Heard Round the Academic World

The tale of a teed-off philanthropist and the head of Bowdoin College, where identity politics runs wild.

By DAVID FEITH, The Wall Street Journal, April 6-7, 2013, p. 11

It sounds like the setup for a bad joke: What did the Wall Street type say to the college president on the golf course? Well, we don’t know exactly—but it has launchedimage a saga with weighty implications for American intellectual and civic life.

Here’s what we do know: One day in the summer of 2010, Barry Mills, the president of Bowdoin College, a respected liberal-arts school in Brunswick, Maine, met investor and philanthropist Thomas Klingenstein for a round of golf about an hour north of campus. College presidents spend many of their waking hours talking to potential donors. In this case, the two men spoke about college life—especially “diversity”—and the conversation made such an impression on President Mills that he cited it weeks later in his convocation address to Bowdoin’s freshman class. That’s where the dispute begins.

In his address, President Mills described the golf outing and said he had been interrupted in the middle of a swing by a fellow golfer’s announcement: “I would never support Bowdoin—you are a ridiculous liberal school that brings all the wrong students to campus for all the wrong reasons,” said the other golfer, in Mr. Mills’s telling. During Mr. Mills’s next swing, he recalled, the man blasted Bowdoin’s “misplaced and misguided diversity efforts.” At the end of the round, the college president told the students, “I walked off the course in despair.”

Word of the speech soon got to Mr. Klingenstein. Even though he hadn’t been named in the Mills account, Mr. Klingenstein took to the pages of the Claremont Review of Books to call it nonsense: “He didn’t like my views, so he turned me into a backswing interrupting, Bowdoin-hating boor who wants to return to the segregated days of Jim Crow.” Continue reading