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Ashamed of the Gospel? Missed Opportunity at Virginia Tech
Townhall ^ | April 22, 2007 | Frank Pastore

Posted on 04/22/2007 4:42:02 AM PDT by Kaslin

Ashamed of the Gospel? Missed Opportunity at Virginia Tech
By Frank Pastore
Sunday, April 22, 2007

Let’s test your knowledge of world religions. Below is the entire message delivered by one of the four religious leaders at last week’s convocation at Virginia Tech, in the aftermath of the horrible mass murders that left 32 dead and 21 injured.

The test is simple: determine the religion being represented.

We gather this afternoon for many purposes. To weep for lost friends and family, to mourn our lost innocence, to walk forward in the wake of unspeakable tragedy, to embrace hope in the shadow of despair, to join our voices in a longing for peace, and healing, and understanding which is much greater than any single faith community. To embrace that which unifies, and to reject the seductive temptation to hate. We gather to share our hurts and our hopes, our petitions and our prayers.

We gather also to drink deeply of the religious streams which have refreshed parched peoples for many generations. We gather together, weeping. Yes, we weep with an agony too deep for words and sighs that are inexpressible. But also we gather affirming the sovereignty of life over death.

At a time such as this, the darkness of evil seems powerful indeed. It casts a pall over our simple joys, joys as simple as playing Frisbee on the drill field. We struggle to imagine a future beyond this agony. If we ever harbored any illusions that our campus is an idyllic refuge from the violence of the rest of the world, they are gone forever. And yet, we come to this place to testify that the light of love cannot be defeated.

Amid all our pain, we confess that the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. We cannot do everything, but we can do something. We cannot banish all darkness, but we can by joining together, push it back. We can not undue yesterday’s tragic events, but we can sit in patient silence with those who mourn as they seek for a way forward.

As we share light, one with another, we reclaim our campus, let us deny death’s power to rob us of all that we have loved about Virginia Tech, this our community. Let us cast our lot with hope in defiance of despair. I invite you to observe a moment of silence.

Difficult, isn’t it?

The message was delivered by Reverend William H. King, Director of Lutheran Campus Ministries at Virginia Tech, and a member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). The video of the message is available online.

Each of the four speakers were there to represent their religion, to bring the message of comfort and hope rooted in their faith tradition. The Muslim speaker read passages from the Koran in Arabic and appealed to Allah, the Jewish speaker read from Ecclesiastes 3 while an assistant repeated the passages in Hebrew, the Buddhist quoted the Dalai Lama, while the Christian did not even quote from the Bible, nor mention the name of Jesus – the namesake of his religion.

What Mr. King said should be studied in every seminary in America. It is precisely what not to do when given the opportunity to bring the message of the Gospel of Jesus to those grieving the loss of loved ones and struggling to make sense of the evil visited upon them.

The nearest thing to Christianity anyone heard at the Convocation was the playing of Amazing Grace and the unison recitation of The Lord’s Prayer. There was far more Bible coming from the pews than being preached from the pulpit.

No wonder Christianity is so easily and regularly attacked on college campuses. With advocates like this, who needs opposition? We’ve got guys in our uniform playing for the other team.

Mr. King could have spoken the truth. He could have explained why Christians are confident in divine justice, why we believe that good will ultimately triumph over evil, why we know that there is life after death for those that trust Christ. He could have explained that Jesus paid the penalty for all our sins on the Cross that Friday long ago, and rose bodily from the dead on Sunday to prove His sovereignty over evil, sin and death.

In short, he could have preached the Gospel. After all, the murders were only a week removed from Easter.

But, Mr. King decided to do something apparently more important in his mind. He decided to be politically correct and not offend the members of his interfaith community by offering hollow words of humanistic philosophy lacking any real substance, and by appealing to various “religious streams” and by validating the search “for a way forward,” he insulted those of us who actually believe Christianity is true and other religions false.

In so doing, he denied his faith.

He offered those mourning no hope for the present nor any hope for the future.

He left the hearers dead in their sins.

A minister ashamed of the Gospel should not have been on that podium.

The Frank Pastore Show is heard in Los Angeles weekday afternoons on 99.5 KKLA and on the web at kkla.com, and is the winner of the 2006 National Religious Broadcasters Talk Show of the Year. Frank is a former major league pitcher with graduate degrees in both philosophy of religion and political philosophy.



TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; US: Virginia
KEYWORDS: vatech
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1 posted on 04/22/2007 4:42:05 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

Jesus was very clear about what happens to men who deny him in front of other men........


2 posted on 04/22/2007 5:05:40 AM PDT by Bulldawg Fan (Rest of the Story, My bad that this didnt print with the first part.)
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To: Kaslin

How very sad. Jesus was very specific as to the fate of those who denied Him while here on Earth. This is a sin of omission, his failure to hold out the Gospel was as damning as if he had denied Christ.

Is it any wonder our nation is in the terrible shape it’s in with regard to morals and courage?


3 posted on 04/22/2007 5:06:09 AM PDT by jwparkerjr
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To: Kaslin

Good article.


4 posted on 04/22/2007 5:06:09 AM PDT by Mr. Brightside (Rudy is Hillary Clinton in a dress)
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To: Kaslin

Why should anyone have any respect for the Christian message if its proponents are ashamed of it themselves?

No reason at all.


5 posted on 04/22/2007 5:06:35 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: jwparkerjr

None whatsoever


6 posted on 04/22/2007 5:09:33 AM PDT by Kaslin (Fred Thompson for President 2008)
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To: Mr. Brightside

I thought so too


7 posted on 04/22/2007 5:10:01 AM PDT by Kaslin (Fred Thompson for President 2008)
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To: Vanders9

I don’t get you


8 posted on 04/22/2007 5:10:33 AM PDT by Kaslin (Fred Thompson for President 2008)
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To: Kaslin

This article is a keeper. Thank you for posting it.


9 posted on 04/22/2007 5:12:18 AM PDT by good old days
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To: good old days

You are welcome


10 posted on 04/22/2007 5:27:13 AM PDT by Kaslin (Fred Thompson for President 2008)
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To: All
Hope this helps ease the pain.
11 posted on 04/22/2007 5:43:54 AM PDT by Kate of Spice Island (WINO (Westwinger In Name Only))
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To: Kaslin

Hey, at least Mr King didn’t offend anybody and was totally, you know, inclusive.


12 posted on 04/22/2007 5:46:27 AM PDT by Jabba the Nutt (Jabba the Hutt's bigger, meaner, uglier brother.)
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To: Kaslin

Thanks for posting...

I don’t understand why some seem so afraid of mentioning Christianity...and this guy was a pastor?


13 posted on 04/22/2007 5:48:34 AM PDT by aimee5291
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To: Kaslin

Superb. Thank you.


14 posted on 04/22/2007 6:02:27 AM PDT by Harrius Magnus (Pucker up Mo, and your dhimmi Leftist freaks, here comes your Jizya!)
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To: Kaslin
Following the collapse of a tower in Siloam, a Jerusalem suburb, Jesus had this to say:
"...those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? 5 I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:4, from New International Version translation)

15 posted on 04/22/2007 6:28:29 AM PDT by Fiji Hill
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To: Kaslin

How would you have felt if the muslim speaker had invited the audience to find salvation through the acknowledgement of Allah as the one true prophet?

IMO, a memorial service of this sort is not the place for proselytizing - by anyone - and to have done so would have been found highly offensive by many listeners.


16 posted on 04/22/2007 6:45:02 AM PDT by M. Dodge Thomas
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To: M. Dodge Thomas

There is a time and a place for everything it is true, but I don’t think that was what the author was getting at.

I think what he was condemning was not that this pastor avoided heavy proselytising, but that the message he gave was not in any way uniquely Christian AT ALL.


17 posted on 04/22/2007 6:52:05 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Jabba the Nutt
at least Mr King didn’t offend anybody

Apparently he did offend; else why the article and the responses to the article?

18 posted on 04/22/2007 6:58:17 AM PDT by MosesKnows
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To: Kaslin

I mean that there are some people who are so afraid of being thought “bigoted”, “exclusive”, “condemning” or anti anything that they reduce the gospel down to the lowest possible denominator of a few pious platitudes.

In the short term, this works. Few are going to be offended by this speech. In the long term however, it gives the impression that the Christian faith has nothing that it regards as absolute and unshaking. And non believers are not going to be impressed with that.


19 posted on 04/22/2007 6:58:28 AM PDT by Vanders9
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To: Kaslin

His homily reminds me of the grace said by “Aunt Bethany” at the dinner table in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.


Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany’s 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: [turns to Lewis] What, dear?
Nora Griswold: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? She passed away thirty years ago.
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say Grace.
[Bethany shakes her head in confusion]
Uncle Lewis: The BLESSING!
Aunt Bethany: [they all pose for prayer] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands/ One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Clark: Amen.


20 posted on 04/22/2007 7:02:11 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: Harrius Magnus

He did quote the 5th verse of the first chapter of Saint John’s Gospel, “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” The light refers to Christ. So, there was at least some Christianity in the sermon.


21 posted on 04/22/2007 7:05:09 AM PDT by me1og
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To: M. Dodge Thomas
How would you have felt if the muslim speaker had invited the audience to find salvation through the acknowledgement of Allah as the one true prophet?

I would have said he was wrong in his belief and would have tried to lead him to Christ through the Bible.

IMO, a memorial service of this sort is not the place for proselytizing - by anyone...

IMHO, EVERYWHERE is the place to talk about the Gospel of Christ. Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Matthew 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

...and to have done so would have been found highly offensive by many listeners.

Yea, look what happened to Jesus when He offended the religious leaders of His day.

22 posted on 04/22/2007 7:07:04 AM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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To: M. Dodge Thomas
Read the article- that is in effect what the muslim speaker did. Every prayer to Allah has a supreme purpose- for everyone to see the one true light. Sometimes it is too subtle for the audience to recognize that is what they are being subjected to.

At the very least he quoted the Koran. Would you have found an ECLA minister quoting the Bible to be “proselytizing”? In these PC times I’m guessing the answer would be “yes”.

23 posted on 04/22/2007 7:07:29 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: Bulldawg Fan
Jesus was very clear about what happens to men who deny him in front of other men........

Yes, as all who deny Him will find out, If you deny me before men, I will deny you before God. Jesus, Mt 10:33

24 posted on 04/22/2007 7:31:45 AM PDT by thiscouldbemoreconfusing
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To: Kaslin

They shouldn’t have allowed a Muslim to speak anyway, that’s BS.


25 posted on 04/22/2007 7:46:27 AM PDT by Contra
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To: WileyPink
IMHO, EVERYWHERE is the place to talk about the Gospel of Christ.

Please remember that when you next . . .
visit the public library,
go to a theater,
or eat at a nice restaurant.

And don't just speak in hushed tones to those nearby. Be obnoxious! Speak quite LOUDLY to all who are present and forget all about propriety, courtesy, and good manners. Go for it!! Afterall, Christians should not be ashamed of the Gospel, should the?.

Go Get em, Wiley!

26 posted on 04/22/2007 7:50:19 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: Zechariah11

LOL!


27 posted on 04/22/2007 7:53:03 AM PDT by Wormwood (Future Former Freeper)
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To: Kaslin

My wife mentioned the very same thing to me after we heard the respective invocations. We also noticed that they put the Buddhist lady b/w the Muslim and the Jewish speakers — perhaps also not to “offend”...


28 posted on 04/22/2007 8:01:19 AM PDT by mikrofon (Lord's Day BUMP)
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To: Vanders9
Perhaps the best at presenting the distinctions of the Gospel in a situation similar to this was how Billy Graham handled it at the Nixon funeral many years ago.

I believe that Richard Nixon right now is with Pat again, because I believe that in heaven we will know each other. The Bible says, "For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain." There's a gaining about death. For the believer, the brutal fact of death has been conquered by the resurrection of Jesus Christ. For the person who has turned from sin and has received Christ as Lord and Saviour, death is not the end. For the believer, there's hope beyond the grave. There's a future life.

Yesterday, as his body was escorted to the plane for its final journey here, the band played and the familiar strains of a hymn he especially loved -- maybe the hymn that he loved the most were played: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I'm found, was blind but now I see. Through many dangers, toils and snares, I've already come. 'Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, for grace will take me home.

That hymn was written 200 years ago by an Englishman named John Newton. He was a cruel man, a captain of a slave ship. But one night in a fierce storm, he turned to God and committed his life to Christ. Newton not only became a preacher of the gospel, but he influenced William Wilberforce and others in Parliament to bring an end to the slave trade. John Newton came to know the miracle of God's amazing grace, and it changed his life. And it changed our lives as well.

29 posted on 04/22/2007 8:01:43 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: Contra

Wasn’t he representing Cho?


30 posted on 04/22/2007 8:03:11 AM PDT by missnry (The truth will set you free!)
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To: Zechariah11
Go Get em, Wiley!

Oh I do try...but with a little, "meekness and fear". (1Peter 3:15b)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

The verse reference below the crosses is John 14:6, btw. Wiley

31 posted on 04/22/2007 8:07:31 AM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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To: WileyPink
Nice truck.

Are the other drivers supposed to know John 14:6, have a Bible handy, or just remember the reference until they get home and rush to look it up?

32 posted on 04/22/2007 8:12:11 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: WileyPink

Btw, the decal looks great as does the truck.


33 posted on 04/22/2007 8:16:15 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: Zechariah11
Are the other drivers supposed to know John 14:6, have a Bible handy, or just remember the reference until they get home and rush to look it up?

I usually get one of three reactions...(1)They'll ask me what that verse is (Opening an excellent opportunity to witness), (2)They'll already know the verse and we begin a conversation about Christ (Which is very edifying to me), (3)No response at all.

Either way, I don't shove it down any body's throat but it does open the doors.

34 posted on 04/22/2007 8:19:02 AM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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To: Zechariah11
Btw, the decal looks great as does the truck Thanks, the truck is kinda like its owner...the pictures are much better than real life...lol.

btw, on the last point of your question ...or just remember the reference until they get home and rush to look it up?

If that happens, didn't the purpose of the decal just work??? hmmmm?

Thanks again

35 posted on 04/22/2007 8:22:48 AM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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To: Zechariah11
Thanks for the link on your homepage to the Audio Bible Study. I can really use it while I drive.

Wiley

36 posted on 04/22/2007 8:31:09 AM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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To: WileyPink
Thanks for the link on your homepage to the Audio Bible Study. I can really use it while I drive.

Being able to listen to Rush, Bible studies, audiobooks, or great music is a reason I've always envied truckers. But not having the ability to even park my small car ass-in (or whatever you call it) or knowing the first thing about engines, etc kind of puts me out. Still, I'd love to be out there on the open road, driving a truck, crossing the country and going to places I've never been -- just as long as I don't have to navigate city streets. .

I do have a long commute. Besides the Word, I enjoy audiobooks (far better than radio). Michael Connelley murder mysteries help.

37 posted on 04/22/2007 8:47:44 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: WileyPink

Checkmate. You won.


38 posted on 04/22/2007 8:50:04 AM PDT by Zechariah11
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To: Zechariah11
lol, good talking to you. Stay in touch.

Wiley

BTW, if you see my truck, wave...with all fingers!...lol

39 posted on 04/22/2007 8:52:32 AM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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Bump


40 posted on 04/22/2007 11:03:36 AM PDT by good old days
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To: Contra

So you think that freedom of religion is actually freedom of your religion, or that there were no muslim students at VT?


41 posted on 04/22/2007 12:09:37 PM PDT by ga medic
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To: ga medic
So you think that freedom of religion is actually freedom of your religion, or that there were no muslim students at VT?

Pretty much just as freedom of speech is actually only freedom of the speech as long as it doesn't include Jesus or God and that it doesn't offend some liberal group.

One can worship a fence post and be heralded as a 'free thinker' but when we say that Jesus is the ONLY way, we are branded as hate-mongers and intolerant. I know that your question wasn't aimed at me, but...I've had just about all I'm willing to take of "tolerant" people trying to make me feel guilty for worshiping Jesus.

So yea, that same freedom of religion.

42 posted on 04/22/2007 12:31:27 PM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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To: Kaslin; iceskater; P8riot; Flora McDonald; Gabz; ReagansRaiders

I’m no fan of Governor Tim Kaine, but it was rather amazing that in the entire convocation, he was the one who mentioned Christ.


43 posted on 04/22/2007 1:02:37 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://wardsmythe.com)
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To: WileyPink

Just so you know, the comment that I was responding to was someone who felt that the Muslim clergy should not have been allowed at the VT memorial. They had a Buddhist, a Christian, a Rabbi, and an Imam. I don’t understand why the poster felt a Muslim should not have been allowed to speak.


44 posted on 04/22/2007 2:15:23 PM PDT by ga medic
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To: Kaslin

Fox was showing a video this morning of a Methodist church in VA - they were having a special service for the families and inviting them to come and speak. The way they explained it, it sounded like a good thing - and the Pastor of the church commented that we needed to rely more on JESUS and His ability to get us through this difficult time.

It was a little late in coming, but I hope it will help some people get their lives back to normal. I can speak from personal experience that losing your child is a horrible thing to go through .. no matter how they die.

My personal relationship with Jesus, and the loving counsel of my Pastor and his wife have been very helpful.


45 posted on 04/22/2007 2:16:48 PM PDT by CyberAnt ("... first time in history the U.S. House has attempted to surrender via C-SPAN TV ...")
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To: ga medic
Just so you know, the comment that I was responding to was someone who felt that the Muslim clergy should not have been allowed at the VT memorial. They had a Buddhist, a Christian, a Rabbi, and an Imam. I don’t understand why the poster felt a Muslim should not have been allowed to speak.

You're right, and perhaps I took it wrong and shouldn't have been so quick to 'jump on you'.

I think that the tolerant attitude towards everybody except Christians is very frustrating...it is to me anyway. I may have incorrectly grouped you into that category. If I did, I apologize.

46 posted on 04/22/2007 2:24:25 PM PDT by WileyPink ("...I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6a)
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To: Corin Stormhands
I’m no fan of Governor Tim Kaine, but it was rather amazing that in the entire convocation, he was the one who mentioned Christ.

The only one, as I recall.

47 posted on 04/22/2007 2:34:33 PM PDT by pray4liberty (http://totallyunjust.tripod.com)
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To: pray4liberty
The only one, as I recall.

You're correct. I meant to type "only one."

48 posted on 04/22/2007 2:57:54 PM PDT by Corin Stormhands (http://wardsmythe.com)
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To: Kaslin
Here is a group that is truly ministering to the students at Tech.

Reformed University Fellowship

49 posted on 04/22/2007 3:00:20 PM PDT by P8riot (I carry a gun because I can't carry a cop.)
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To: WileyPink

Apology accepted. I too am a Christian and would like my religious rights to be preserved. But, I also have a strong love of my country and the principles that it was founded on, including the freedom of religion. I want the right to practice my religion as I want those of other religions to have the freedom to practice their religion too.


50 posted on 04/22/2007 4:00:41 PM PDT by ga medic
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