Tag Archives: culture

Goodbye, Middle Georgia

The Last Night

It’s really hard to believe it, but tonight is the last night I will be sleeping as a resident of Georgia. Tomorrow is the day we load up the U-Haul and head back to Tennessee.

Gone will be the quiet, star-canopied nights when I would sit on the steps of the back porch with my little dog and listen to nothing, except the sound of crickets, coyotes, or a cow somewhere across the way.

Tonight will be the last time I look at that old church lit up in the distance, the church I had no desire to leave.

Lots of Water

If you think of our time here like the old metaphor, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since we moved here in 2019. I mean, what better way to start a pastorate than be faced with an unprecedented pandemic? What fun!

But over the last three years we have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many sweet people, not just through the church I pastored, but out in the community. To begin with, there was the old black man that worked the morning shift at McDonald’s. He was the most enthusiastic person I think I’ve ever met!

Back in 2020 I started painting. That led to meeting many friends down at the farmer’s market in Sandersville. Honestly, I’m really going to miss seeing those folk on Saturday mornings. For over 2 years I sat through hot and cold, even when I didn’t expect to sell much, just to hang out with and encourage them. And, on top of that, one never knew who you’d meet that was just passing through.

Covid took its toll, of course, and we lost a few friends, some very close.

My mother came down with pancreatic cancer while here, yet she rarely missed a church service, unlike most of the rest of the congregation. I held her hand and sang “Amazing Grace” as I watched her life slip away. She just stared at me the whole time. I’ll always wonder what, if anything, she was thinking.

Goodbye to the Culture

Funny thing, growing up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, I thought I lived in the South. Well, I was evidently mistaken. I wasn’t Southern enough to put up with gnats, enjoy pineapple sandwiches, or own a truck (even though I really wanted one).

Don’t get me wrong, there was a lot down here that was wonderful and refreshing, but on the other hand, some of the things that annoyed me back in Tennessee were only made worse down here.

For example, where I was from a church was rarely more than one hundred years old. Down here their age regularly exceeds two centuries. Unfortunately, so do the family influences. Nothing is done quickly, and nothing is done without the approval of a select few (and that does not include the pastor). There is no hope of ever becoming a local if you just learned about kaolin and never picked cotton.

Back to Pavement

So, after tomorrow, it’s back to the fast-paced, bumper-to-bumper life of the blacktopped world. No more dirt roads. No more small-town limited government. No more knowing your sheriff or praying in public, even before a football game.

Next week it will be the 4 or 6-lane highways, the world’s fastest internet, 4 or 5 local television stations, a major newspaper, tons of restaurants, gang shootings, murder, drugs, and routines that sap away one’s life.

But that’s the way it’s got to be, Georgia. We had our good times, but we weren’t meant to last.

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Filed under America, community, General Observations

What Does a Woman Look Like?

I have a strong feeling that this post is going to infuriate some people. It may even get me in trouble with somebody somewhere. However, I am going to mix metaphors, jump right in, and open a can of worms.

What does a woman look like?

By now you are probably familiar with the Matt Walsh documentary What is a Woman? If you haven’t seen it, you need to, because it seems to have made possible conversations many have been too afraid to have until now. And when you consider that just recently Bill Maher (on HBO) questioned the trans-gender community’s growing numbers, particularly with children, I think it’s time for me to point a few things out, too.

Let’s face it, the most influential and powerful women today are not biological women; they’re men who identify as women. Men who identify as women are stealing all the spotlight from the females who once fought for equality. They’re even showing that if you want to be the best woman you can be, you should be a man. You know, like Lia Thomas.

Lia Thomas (image credit: Yahoo News)

But thinking about Lia Thomas, why is it that Lia Thomas looks like a woman? I mean, why is it that Lia Thomas has long hair? Why does Lia wear makeup? Is it because “she” wants to look into the mirror and see someone besides his self?

Why is it that men who transition into women (which they’re really not; they just look like them), they generally go with the feminine look that is so stereotypical of natural femininity? Why not stay looking like the guy they are, just without the penis? Are appearances that important when what is really supposed to matter is what’s inside?

It just seems a little strange to me, that’s all. For so long there was a certain look that women were expected to have. Women wore dresses, had long hair, did their nails, and always had on some kind of makeup. They were expected to have higher, softer voices, hourglass figures, and shapely legs perched on high heels. But these stereotypes are the very ones biological women fought against. Who said women had to look a certain way? They could wear the pants in the family, too!

Have you ever heard of a Barbie Doll? Of course, you have. Go ahead, google “Barbie too feminine” and what you will find are articles going back nearly a decade that blast Barbie’s stereotypical looks.

Barbie reinforces the concept of heterosexuality because Barbie is very feminine. She has plump lips, well proportioned breasts and large hips. Moreover, she is often wearing skirts or dresses, high heels, earrings and make up. She defines how somehow (sp?) who is female should look and dress.

Anastasia Demakos, “Religion and Popular Culture” (Nov. 9, 2014)

So, then, why the long hair, Lia? Why does any trans female feel the need to LOOK female? And the same thing can be asked about women transitioning into physical copies of men.

But let’s not stop with transgender, let’s take this even further down the rabbit hole and ask why it is that, again, generally speaking, homosexual and lesbian couples so often mimic the heterosexual image? In other words, why are there often male and female counterparts?

Dare I say Ellen and Portia?

Could it simply be that the way God designed us is innate, not fluid or socially constructed, therefore no matter how much we want to dismiss the Creator, His design still bleeds through? It’s like His will for humanity’s relationships is a holy nicotine stain that no amount of paint can hide for long.

What does a woman look like? I guess that’s a difficult question if you can’t even define what a woman is. But are “tomboys” not women enough? Are they actually men in women’s bodies? Should biological women with facial hair, deeper voices, and a love for Stanley tools exchange their baby-bearing club cards for urinals and prostate exams?

Because, after all, REAL women get breast implants and lip plumping.

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Filed under Culture Wars, current events

Cultural Commentary for Friday, 5/20/22

There comes a time when even the quietest person, even the blogger whose keyboard has acquired a layer of dust, must rise up and speak (or type). Now’s the time for me.

If you’ve heard these phrases/questions before, raise your hand and say “amen.”

  • What’s this world coming to?
  • This world is going crazy!
  • Our founding fathers would roll over in their graves if they could see this.
  • How do you get to the interstate from here?
  • Do you want frog legs with that?

You may have never heard the last two, I suppose, but the first three, especially the first two are on the lips of just about everyone we meet these days. And it’s no wonder, because the world IS going crazy.

Stop and think about it, who in their right and healthy minds would literally believe and say with a straight face that men can have babies, therefore men can have abortions? Nobody. That’s crazy. That’s insane. We’re talking put-a-helmet-on-and-take-your-meds crazy.

Actually, I bet if you went to facilities where the clinically diagnosed resided in padded rooms and asked them if men could have babies, they’d look at you, then themselves, and start crying from confusion.

Screenshot from C-SPAN

Yet, when Aimee Arrambide, Executive Director of Avow, a Texas-based organization devoted to “securing unrestricted abortion care and reproductive rights,” was asked before a House Judiciary Committee if men can get pregnant and have abortions, she said, “YES.”

These are smart people. These people are even allowed to drive cars, own guns, and have unrestricted access to the Home Shopping Network! But at the same time, let’s face it, they’re losing their minds.

But it’s not just abortion rights activists worried about losing millions of dollars from the loss of legalized contract murders, it’s even in the Supreme Court of the United States. After all the years of sitting in doctor’s offices and looking at anatomy posters on the walls, like Aimee Arrambide, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson (nominated on the basis of her sex) can’t even define what a man or woman is!

Yet, I’ve got to hand it to them. Seriously, if life was a game of chess, the Left have been playing 20 moves ahead. They’ve even planned for these days by making sure that when they started talking like people who should be kept away from sharp objects, the word crazy is now considered stigmatizing, alienating, and “problematic.”

In other words, calling crazy people crazy is tantamount to insanity, or at least insensitivity, which can result in crazy restrictions, loopy cries for sensitivity training, and downright nutty condemnation from people who can’t (or won’t) even say if the human that plopped them out of the womb was a woman or not!

If you don’t think we are living in a “Romans 1” world . . . well, I don’t want to stigmatize you.

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Filed under Abortion, Culture Wars, current events

A Sermon Not Preached Enough

Truth be told, I’m probably setting myself up for a firestorm of hateful comments and threats with the video I’m about to share. I’m tempted not to.

But then what would that make me?

Then again, with a much smaller number of readers than I had a year or two ago, it’s likely that the video I post will only be seen by a few, and most of them (maybe even you) will not watch or listen to all of it.

So, is it worth it? Is it worth sharing?

Of course it is! If it convicts one person . . . If it reaches one heart . . . If it only causes one person to stop for a minute and consider the truth of Scripture . . . then it was worth it.

Then again, it’s not my job to decide the value of a blog post, or even a sermon. My job is to be faithful to the call to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to exposit the Word of God so that others may come to the knowledge of the Truth.

Preached Sunday evening, September 5, 2021, at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Warthen, GA. Dr. Anthony Baker, Pastor.

There are not a lot of people these days using Romans chapter one to describe America and the culture in which we live. No, they are too afraid of the WOKE police and social media censors, not to mention the protestors who scream and threaten as they label Christians as the hateful and bigoted ones.

Too many pastors are afraid of offending, of burning bridges, of losing whatever numbers we have left.

But if we can’t preach the truth, preacher and pastors, we need to just call it quits and go home. I’m sure that we are not too far away from what God spoke through the Prophet Micah:

“I wish one of you would shut the temple doors, so you would no longer kindle a useless fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Hosts, “and I will accept no offering from your hands.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/Malachi/1/10

And if, after listening to the above sermon, you think I’m going overboard on the “sex” thing, just a few minutes ago, right before I linked the above video to this post, my wife sent me a story in Messenger.

https://newschannel9.com/news/local/chattanooga-man-among-18-charged-in-tennessee-human-trafficking-operation?fbclid=IwAR3JvOaShXlS4LRRxvEHGbw-lyPayhazJ_OdTWNLPZiBUBJTRlYxzETmhPY

What’s this world coming to?

Read Romans 1.

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Filed under America, Bethlehem Baptist Church, current events, Defining Marriage, Preaching

Gender Neutral Potato Head

Today, the company wants to stop leaning so heavily into this traditional family structure. “Culture has evolved,” she tells Fast Company. “Kids want to be able to represent their own experiences. The way the brand currently exists—with the “Mr.” and “Mrs.”—is limiting when it comes to both gender identity and family structure.”

NEXTAR Media Wire via Fox59.com
See linked article for credit.

Have you ever wondered what it would take for the average person to lose his mind? Would it be a tragic loss or overwhelming circumstance that would break him? Torture? Deprivation?

What about the unceasing and incessant madness of the liberal Left and their determination to swab away all cultural norms from the deck of this sinking ship?

Mr. Potato Head and Mrs. Potato Head are cultural icons. They even walk and talk in the “Toy Story” movies! Yet, because of the desire to let 3-year-old brains shape the future, Hasbro wants to further confuse them with not only a plastic toy potato, but one that can’t even decide which potato potty to enter.

“Culture has evolved,” they say. Tell me, toy geniuses, what is there about evolving that includes the deconstruction of the structural fabric which has been the framework and bedrock of society?

Oh, I get it – it’s a money thing, right? We want to appeal to the little crumb crunchers whose mommies and baby daddies have either ditched their responsibilities and commitments or unstitched and re-stitched their baby-making parts. We want to enable – for the dollar, mind you – a whole new generation of gender-confused part-swappers because leaning too heavily on the current traditional family structure is not good for the brand.

I don’t know how far I am away from losing it, but one thing’s for sure: Hasbro has mashed potatoes for brains.

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Filed under Culture Wars, current events, Family

When Your Heroes Die

This morning I posted a heartfelt and serious impromptu video directed at my youngest daughter.

However, it’s for everybody.

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Filed under Apologetics, current events, Depression, Life/Death

The World Was Better When There Were Saturday-Morning Cartoons

It is Saturday morning, and believe it or not, I don’t even know what time it is. I know it is later than 6 a.m. because there is sunshine outside, our two little dogs have already made their pleas to go potty.

But had I been, let’s say, 10 years old (that was back in the 70’s), I could at least tell you what hour of the morning it was, and that would have been based on what cartoon was showing on one of only three – yes three – television channels.

For several years when I was young, my family did not own a television; it was considered too worldly. Unfortunately, what might have been a “tool of Satan” back then has now become nothing less than a porthole-window view of the sea of filth into which the ship of our culture is sinking. Just pick your channel (or porthole) – there are hundreds of them.

But back in the 70’s there were at least some good cartoons on the air, so my parents didn’t mind me staying over at my grandparents’ house on Friday night… so that I could wake up to Rocky and Bullwinkle the next morning… at 6 a.m.

Back in those days, there was no Cartoon Network or Adult Swim. Cartoons were only shown early on Saturday mornings, that was it. And if a kid didn’t wake up at the crack of dawn, he’d miss the best shows. The later the morning got, the more cheesy (even for that time) the cartoons became. If he woke up too late, the only thing he’d get to see would be local programming (gag!).

I miss the days of pre-Scrappy Scoobydoo; the predictable and comforting theme music drawing me into another rerun of Bugs Bunny; and the pre-scandalized Bill Cosby teaching me about junkyard life through the voice of Fat Albert. I miss thinking the dinosaurs actually looked real on the Land of the Lost, and I really miss learning about the Constitution and grammar from School House Rock – I can still remember the song that taught the Preamble… Can you sing it with me?

“We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, secure domestic tranquility-ee-ee-eeee, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare [and then], secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution of the United States of America.”

Kids used to wake up early on Saturday mornings, grab a bowl of sugary cereal, then sit down in front of a console television for a few hours in order to be entertained, even educated! Then, awake and on a slight sugar high, they would walk away from boring TV to run outside where they would ride bikes, build forts, throw lawn darts, shoot BB guns, or anything else to stay out of the house.

Saturday morning used to be a highly-anticipated treat, one from which you did NOT want to get grounded. Now it’s just another day – where the hours bleed into another…and kids sleep through it.

Change happens, but it’s not always for the better.

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Filed under America, Culture Wars, General Observations, Life Lessons

An Addiction Or Tool? Would Cigarettes Be Safer?

I didn’t think of the cigarette part until I started writing the title, but it’s an honest question worth exploring.

Is there one addiction more dangerous than another? Of course. Honestly, cigarettes would kill me sooner than cancer from my phone.

The point that I want to make this morning is that I think I might be addicted to my cell phone. And if I am, then admitting it to the world is a good way to overcome it.

Hello, my name is Anthony. I’m an iPhonaholic. I think.

Official Terms and Stats

OK, so let’s look at what the professionals have to say. When I did a quick google search of “what do you call someone addicted to looking at their phone?”, I discovered that much of the research and writing that popped up was several years old. Even the most recent professional articles referenced research that was done as far back as 2008.

The official term, nomophobia, was derived from combining “no mo-bile” with phobia (irrational fear). Simply defined, nomophobia is “an extreme fear of not having your phone or not being able to use it.”

Since this is not an official research paper, and I don’t really want to get into the work of sourcing everything I read, just google what I did and you can find it all. But when it comes to the numbers, they are pretty disturbing.

  • In the original 2008 UK study that coined the term nomophobia, 57% of men and 47% of women suffered mobile phone anxiety.
  • In another study of college students (2013), 64% were at risk of developing nomophobia, while 77% checked their phones at least 35 times per day.
  • A 2010 study showed that 61% of adults check their phones first thing in the morning.
  • In 2014 it was observed that with college students there was a correlation between low GPA’s and frequent cell phone usage.

If you are reading this and wondering, “Do I have nomophobia?”, then social psychologists at Iowa State University have put together a 20-item questionnaire meant to help you self-diagnose. Now, this, too, was from several years ago, so I don’t know if anything has changed. But if you’re like me, we’ve got problems.

Not So Fast

But on the other hand, back in 2015 Brian Fung, a reporter with the Washington Post, questioned the legitimacy of equating nomophobia with ” real, clinical addictions.” Fung argues that true addictions and disabling phobias generally affect only 10 to 12 percent of the population, so, cellphone “addiction” might not be as bad as described.

And let’s think about this… Before there were cell phones, how did we stay in contact? We had pay phones, didn’t we? And before we had Waze or Google Maps, how did we find our directions to destinations? We either used maps or wrote down directions. Yet, where are the pay phones these days? Have you tried to buy a map, lately?

Before there were cell phones, business was conducted over land lines, desktop computers, in stores, and on paper. Nowadays, as you know, business, shopping, and even legal documents have  been adapted to mobile devices. And what’s more, a lot of our daily activities now require we have a cell phone, or the immediacy of the transaction demands it.

As one researcher rightfully noted, the increased usage of cell phones may not be the result of increasing addiction as much as it is the increased demand put on individuals by the culture and evolving economy.

But We Can Do Better

So, back to the original assertion that I have an addiction… Do I? Probably not, at least not in a clinical sense.

Am I going to give up my iPhone? No. Do I go to bed with it and wake up with it? Yes, because it has replaced my clock and my alarm and the “white noise” app helps me sleep.

But do I look at it too much? Are my daily “pick ups” excessive? Am I comforted by feeling of the phone in my left hand? Do I reach for my phone at the first sense of boredom? Do I panic if I leave home without it? Do I take it with me to the shower? Is it the first thing I look at when I open my eyes in the morning and the last thing I look at before i go to sleep?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. and Yes.

SO…

Below are MY stats from this morning and last week. Are you willing to share yours?

This Monday morning, with Sunday’s stat’s setting the average.

Last week’s average per day, along with a breakdown of what I viewed.

The average number of pickups per day – 74.

Let’s come back to this next Monday and see what changes can be made. I will not quit using my phone, but I am going to try to lower the screen time stats and change what is most commonly viewed.

Would you like to post something like this and join me? 

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Filed under Christian Living, Culture Wars, fitness

20 Things I Want To Be Perfectly Clear In 2020

“I wonder what he thinks about this?”

Two years ago, at the end of one post, I promised that I would write another post addressing 20 things I wanted to be perfectly clear about in 2020.

Before I got to work on the following list, I was afraid it might be difficult to come up with 20. But once I got started, I realized I could easily create a list much longer (but you wouldn’t read a list of 100, would you?).

Nevertheless, here are 20 things I believe; 20 statements that define who I am and where I stand on current issues;  20 things I want to be perfectly and absolutely clear in 2020 … just in case you wondered.

1. Jesus is the only way to God, the only Way. As Jesus said in John 14:6, He is THE Way, THE Truth, and THE Life.

2. My wife is my #1 earthly priority. Period. After that comes my family, then church, etc.

3. Even though God called me to preach and blessed me with the opportunity to pastor a great church, my very first mission field is my family, starting with my wife. If I fail there, I’m no good anywhere else. 1 Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”

4. “Thoughts and prayers” are worthless unless there is One who hears the prayers and can answer them. Prayer is not a magic formula, nor does it have intrinsic power. However, those who mock people who send “thoughts and prayers” are arrogant fools.

5. I prefer the simplicity, predictability, and consistency of iPhones. I don’t need flash; I need function.

6. I am exactly where God wants me to be… in Warthen, GA, at Bethlehem Baptist Church.

7. I can’t see any Democrat in the current field of contenders defeating President Trump in a fair election.

8. I am not a Calvinist (by choice).

9. If you ask me to dinner at a restaurant , don’t expect me to sit on the inside of a booth where I can’t get out – I will panic.

10. Cottage cheese I will not eat, even if it’s mixed with something sweet.

11. Anti-Gun laws are stupid and the people that want to keep creating more are either uneducated, uninformed, or nefariously evil. Anti-Knife laws, and those who write them, are comically insane.

12. I believe ALL murder, attempted murder, and rape are hate crimes. It matters not the color of skin, sexual preference, or religion; it’s all hate-driven. To kill murder someone should result in the death penalty, so how much more can you punish someone if when they kill you they hate who or what you are?

13. Convicted sexual predators should be castrated.

14. Antifa and similar groups should be considered terrorist organizations.

15. We don’t need more Star Wars films. Heck, we didn’t need any after Han Solo was thawed.

16. Greta Thunberg needs to respect her elders, and when the world is still here in 2031, she and AOC need to sit over a dunk tank full of ground glacier ice while man-made climate change deniers get 3 free throws each.

Image result for greta thunberg how dare you meme

17. There are only 2 sexes: male and female. Medicine, surgery, and the way one thinks does not change a man into a woman, nor a woman into a man. This is reality. Anything else is delusional or imaginary.

18. My wife is beautiful, and so are our daughters! I’m tremendously proud of all of them!

19. Chiropractors and essential oils (especially CBD) are totally over-hyped, regardless their actual benefits.

20. I’m totally grateful for those who read and share the content in this blog. Without you, I’d might as well stick with scribbling notes on my desk calendar. God bless each and every one of you.

Bonus: My dog loves me more than anyone else.

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Filed under current events, Future

Thoughts On Impeachment

I am not a politician, nor do I play one on TV. Once I daydreamed about running for Congress, but then I returned to reality and drank a strong cup of coffee – no more of that nonsense.

However, I am a voter who has been watching politicians for many years, especially the last three, and I’ve been pretty disgusted by the whole lot.

Granted, not all politicians are sleazy scumbags. I get it. As a matter of fact, over the years I have had the privilege to know a couple of government officials, servants, who love our country, had high moral and ethical standards, and were not afraid to put their careers on the line while doing the right thing. But those are truly, truly rare these days.

Now, today, I get to see the culmination of three years of attacks on the President of the United States of America: impeachment.

Frankly, I find it funny that we went through two years or more of people absolutely sure Donald Trump colluded with the Russians and played patty cake in a hot tub with Vladimir Putin. They had “evidence” to “prove” it. Yet, none of that is part of the impeachment being voted on today.

As a matter of fact, the Democrat Party in America, aided by the mainstream press (a willing extension of the Party), has done nothing but look for any reason whatsoever to destroy President Trump and remove him from office, even before his inauguration! Even before he took the oath of office, there were protests, calls for violence, fires in the streets, intimidation of voters, and yes, calls for impeachment.

Simply put, the Left has hated Donald Trump since he shattered their dreams and defeated the Ice Queen, Hillary Clinton. There was nothing he could every do to win them over. There would be nothing he could ever do to gain their approval. Simply because he won the election, he, along with half the country (the “deplorables”), would be the recipients of attack after attack after attack. The Left’s pathological hatred would drive their whole agenda.

So, on this historic day, President Donald Trump is being impeached in the House for the most pitiful of excuses for “crimes and misdemeanors” anyone has ever seen. He’s not being impeached for colluding, lying under oath, bribery, tweeting too much, bad hair, getting jiggy with an intern behind the “resolute desk” in the Oval Office, or breaking into the Democrat headquarters. No, he’s being impeached because of misrepresented conversations and disrespecting those who’ve done nothing less than try to carry out a coup.

And the American people are wising up.

Blind hatred can lead one to do stupid things, including self-destructive behavior. When your sole mission in life is to destroy another person, you become bitter, narrow-minded, angry, mean, and eventually delusional. What’s even worse, hatred and a desire for vengeance can wind up hurting the very ones you love – including your country.

When nothing else is as important than vindication, retribution, and the orgasmic desire for the destruction of your enemy, you  become the servant of Evil and the hand tool of the Destroyer.

America is worse off now than if it had let the man elected President do his job, good or bad. Seething, delusional, maniacal, and pathological hate has divided and wounded this nation, all because a single man won an election, thereby stalling the radical agenda of those hell-bent on cultural transformation.

It’s an historic day, for sure.

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Filed under America, politics