Rioters Protest Free Speech

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Milo Yiannopoulos, a gay editor at Breitbart News, was scheduled to speak at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, one of the most left-wing schools in the U.S. Protesters gathered the night of the event, and what began as a peaceful demonstration became so violent that the event had to be cancelled. Hundreds of rioters confronted motorists, picked fights, beat people up, smashed storefronts and set fires. One young woman wearing a Trump hat was pepper-sprayed while giving a television interview.

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Milo Yiannopolous

The rioters also threw bricks and fireworks at police, forcing officials to fire pepper balls and paint balls into the crowd. Police from nine UC campuses, the Oakland Police Department, and the Alameda County Sheriffs Department were called in to help.

Yiannopoulos is an ardent supporter of President Trump and has been speaking at college campuses using humor and provocative remarks to get left-wing students thinking. Students who oppose him say he specializes in hate speech, which doesn’t deserve protection. Yiannopolous was expected to use the Berkeley event to kick off a campaign against “sanctuary campuses” that have vowed to protect students who are here illegally. Berkeley College Republicans invited Yiannopoulos to speak and permission was given by the University.

After the cancellation Yiannopolous wrote, “One thing we do know for sure: the Left is absolutely terrified of free speech and will do literally anything to shut it down.” According to the University, the protest began peacefully, but violence erupted when a group of about 150 masked agitators came onto campus.

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College administrations have become known for protecting students from conservative viewpoints. During the election, someone wrote “TRUMP” in chalk on an Emory University sidewalk. Apparently, some students were upset and called it “hate speech.” They said they no longer felt safe on campus.

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Immediately following the election, one journalist called on people to wear safety pins–declaring they are “a safe place” to show solidarity with those who are afraid of Trump. Many professors cancelled classes after the election because they claimed students were traumatized by Trump’s win.

Why this Matters: In a tweet following the riots, President Trump threatened to cut federal funds from UC Berkeley. About half of their research is funded by federal tax dollars and the University has been struggling the last few years with budget shortfalls and spending deficits.

We can only hope Mr. Trump was joking. The University was willing to host Yiannopolous and also provide the protesters a place to demonstrate. There is currently no federal law that would permit denial of funding to an institution. If there is evidence of fraud or research misconduct, that would be an instance where funds could with withdrawn, usually through peer review.

Prov. 30:33 – For as churning cream produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.

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Tillerson’s First Day at State Dept.

Rex Tillerson spoke to State Department employees on Thursday, assuring them he values their work and will support them. It was his first day on the job, where he is leading a deeply divided bureaucracy, with many employees bitterly opposed to President Trump.

Tillerson said that his core principles are respect and honesty, even when there are points of disagreement. He added, “We cannot allow our personal convictions to overwhelm our ability to work as one team,” and warned he might make changes to how things have traditionally been done at State.

On Wednesday, 900 State Department employees signed a document stating they did not support the President’s Executive Order calling for a temporary ban on travel by citizens from seven terror-prone countries. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at a briefing that these employees need to make a decision: get on board with the President, or leave.

One State Department employee, Monika Wesolowski, is a Trump supporter. She has worked for State for ten years and recently put a photo of the President at her work station. The legal department at State backed Ms. Wesolowski’s right to have that photo. They issued her a letter saying it was not a violation of the Hatch Act–which prohibits federal employees from promoting a candidate–to do so. However, her supervisor has asked her to take the photo down.

Another federal employee, Kerry O’Grady, head of the Secret Service office in Denver, posted on Facebook her opinion of Trump. Three months before the election, O’Grady said that she would not take a bullet for Trump. “I would take jail time over a bullet or an endorsement for what I believe to be disaster to this country and the strong and amazing women and minorities who reside here. Hatch Act be damned,” O’Grady wrote, and “I am with Her,” referring to Hillary Clinton.

Why this Matters: O’Grady is still working for the Secret Service, and many anti-Trump employees are still at the State Department. It seems that only through God’s intervention will this type of sentiment change and our nation come together.

Pray for Rex Tillerson and all other cabinet appointees: for their ability to get a handle on the job very quickly, for good people to come to their aid, and for discernment and wisdom as they seek to serve the nation. Pray for those who hate President Trump to seek employment outside of the federal government, and that qualified people who support him will fill the holes.

Ecc. 3:17 – I said to myself, “God will bring into judgment both the righteous and the wicked, for there will be a time for every activity, a time to judge every deed.”

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President Affirms Religious Freedom
at National Prayer Breakfast

President Trump spoke at Thursday morning’s National Prayer Breakfast, vowing to defend and protect religious liberty on several fronts. He described terrorism as a fundamental threat to religious freedom and said the genocide of peace-loving Muslims and Christians in the Middle East must be stopped. In a huge departure from previous presidents, Mr. Trump said he would “get rid of and totally destroy the Johnson Amendment,” a provision in the tax code that prohibits non-profits from endorsing or opposing political candidates.

Highlights from the President’s speech:

  • “What I hear most often as I travel the country are five words that never, ever fail to touch my heart; that’s “I am praying for you.”
  • “I was blessed to be raised in a churched home. My mother and father taught me that to whom much is given, much is expected.”
  • “The world is in trouble, but we’re going to straighten it out. OK? That’s what I do. I fix things.”
  • “America will thrive as long as we continue to have faith in each other and faith in God.”
  • “We must never, ever stop asking God for the wisdom to serve the public according to His will.”

Watch the full speech here.

Pray for President Trump to continue making provisions for freedom of religion and that God will bless him with a safe, prosperous tenure as president.

Dan. 2:21 – God controls the course of world events; he removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.

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