Sam Rohrer of the American Pastors Network appeared on The Dove TV yesterday to discuss the Supreme Court decision striking down state bans on gay marriage, where he and host Perry Atkinson warned that the ruling will eventually lead to churches losing their tax-exempt status, having their ministry broadcasts shut down, and seeing their pastors hauled off to jail.
But, Rohrer warned, it is not just anti-gay Christians who have lost their freedom as a result of this ruling, but the entire nation because freedom only exists because of God and America has just booted God out and effectively turned itself into a dictatorship.
"If you want to say, 'God, I don't need you,' then God says, 'Fine, you just go have your own way but you're also going to suffer the consequences of having your own way,'" Rohrer said. "They don't understand, I don't believe, what the end result is going to be because they themselves are going to lose the civil freedom to do a lot of the things in their life that they would like to do that they think are just going to be automatically there, not understanding that the only reason we have civil freedom, the only reason we have a First, and Second, and Third, and Fourth, and Fifth Amendment and so forth is because of the biblical underpinnings that permit it."
"When they throw all of that off, you ultimately go just to the power of those who happen to be in office at that point," he continued, "and it's dictatorship. I guarantee you, those right now who think they are savoring the moment because they think they have won have actually lost great, great freedom."
Gary Cass of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission has weighed in with his thoughts on the Supreme Court decision striking down gay marriage bans, telling anti-gay Christians to take solace in the knowledge that "this ruling will ultimately be overturned" by God.
"Morally, the Bible could not be more clear," Cass said, on his "Defending a Christian Worldview" program over the weekend. "Homosexuality is consistently condemned in the strongest possible terms ... Science proves living a homosexual lifestyle is devastating, medically and psychologically. It's not loving the encourage people to violate God's moral law, especially when the consequences are so destructive. Now we're sending a morally confused message to our children and grandchildren. God is not pleased."
"The good news," he continued, "is this ruling will ultimately be overturned. The real triune Supreme Court in Heaven has already ruled: marriage is a union of one man and one woman. We can confidently celebrate that which God has ordained because time and eternity are on our side."
On his radio broadcast today, Bryan Fischer warned the Supreme Court justices who struck down state bans on gay marriage last week that they will one day answer to God for having misled millions of Americans into Hell.
"On Friday, the Supreme Court made it easier for people to go to Hell," he said. "They now have some accountability before God because they have made it easier for people to reject the truth of the Scripture about eternal salvation. This is a serious and a sobering thing and the majority on the Supreme Court is going to need to answer for this one day."
"The Supreme Court jeopardized the eternal souls of millions of Americans on Friday by justifying the sin of homosexuality," he continued. "It communicated, I believe, an exceedingly dangerous message on Friday that homosexual marriage and homosexuality are not perversions to be renounced but a constitutional right or constitutional rights that are to be celebrated and promoted. So the court has moved millions of impressionable Americans one giant step further away from repentance and eternal life."
On "WallBuilders Live" today, Arkansas pastor Tim Brooks spent most of the program saying that America today is just like Sodom and Gomorrah in which militant gays seek to force Christians to participate in their sin.
"Here is the only thing that will satisfy this agenda, and it's very clear: participation," Brooks declared. "We want you to come out of your house and participate with us ... Lot never tried to force his lifestyle on them, he never even brought that up. They are trying to force their lifestyle on him, come out and have sex with us, have to participate. They're going to force participation and that's what we're seeing around the country."
Brooks went on to cite a similar story from Judges 19 to warn that it becomes "unsafe when the homosexual agenda takes over a city."
For his part, David Barton warned that efforts to pass nondiscrimination ordinances that outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity are nothing more than attempts to legalize discrimination against Christians.
"Any time you talk about nondiscrimination," Barton said, "what you are saying is discriminating against people of faith ... Whether you have the Abortion Nondiscrimination Act, whether you have the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, whether you have a nondiscrimination ordinance, every one of those has turned out to be a major club by which you can beat back people of faith and their beliefs and their convictions. So whenever you hear nondiscrimination anything in the last 15 years, you can be assured that becomes a legal weapons by which to divorce you from your faith and make you bow down to what they want and their viewpoints."
Near the end of his radio broadcast last Friday, Glenn Beck interviewed David Barton, the disgraced right-wing pseudo-historian whom Beck regularly turns to for his "expert" opinion, about the Supreme Court ruling striking down state bans on gay marriage. After the interview, Beck sought to bolster Barton's credibility by insisting that he really ought to be called "Dr. Barton" because he is "a brilliant, brilliant man" who "has his doctorate in education."
In fact, back in April, Barton spoke at Faith Baptist Church in Knightdale, North Carolina, where he explicitly stated that he does not possess a Ph.D.:
I was recently involved in writing a book about America's founding and it dealt somewhat with Thomas Jefferson. There were four of us in that book. It was a book for academics. It was done for colleges and universities. Three of them had Ph.Ds, I didn't."
Has Barton managed to obtain a Ph.D. since April? That seems unlikely.
After all, where would he even find the time in between speaking to 600 groups a year while also working 14 hours a day on his ranch?
Glenn Beck reacted to the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage today by declaring that he will now begin to look for different ways to broadcast his message in case the FCC attemps to strip him of his broadcasting license because his Mormon church will not perform same-sex marriages.
"This could mean the end of radio broadcasts like mine," Beck warned. "I am on now public airwaves regulated by the federal government. If I say, or anybody on this show says they're for traditional marriage, which I am in my personal life ... that now puts this radio broadcast in jeopardy because we are on federally regulated airwaves. I will tell you that I am going to begin, today, looking for other vehicles besides the radio broadcast just so, in a two year period, should somebody start to mount this, what does that mean?"
"The world has changed. The fundamental transformation of America is over," he declared. "We are no longer a country that is following the Constitution of the United States of America. That is a thing of the past."
Following the Supreme Court ruling striking down state bans on gay marriage this morning, American Family Radio's Bryan Fischer had a bit of a meltdown on Twitter, which he subsequently cobbled together into a column that he then read on his radio program this afternoon.
In the span of two minutes, he managed to compare the ruling to 9/11, slavery, the attack on Pearl Harbor, and Sodom and Gomorrah.
"From a moral standpoint, 6/26 is the new 9/11," Fischer declared, "because it was on this day that five justices of the United States Supreme Court became moral jihadists, They became rainbow jihadists and they blasted the twin pillars of truth and righteousness into rubble. And they did this by imposing sodomy-based marriage on the United States through an act of judicial tyranny."
"We the people have ceased to be our own rulers," he continued. "We are now serfs on a plantation that's being run by cultural elites who wear black robes and use the gavels like the slaveholders of old used to use their whips, to beat us, as social conservatives, into abject submission."
"Today, June 26, 2015, is a date which will live in infamy," Fischer added. "On this day, the United States became Sodom and Gomorrah."
Following his interview with Franklin Graham this morning in which Graham warned that the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage will lead to persecution of Christians and, ultimately, God unleashing His judgment upon America, Fox News commentator Todd Starnes shared his own dire predictions about what is to come.
"Gay rights now trump religious liberty," Starnes stated, utterly ignoring the actual language of the ruling. "If you think the cultural purging of the southern states has been breathtaking, wait until you see what the activists are about to unleash on the American Christians. Churches and faith-based organizations should prepare to be hit with lawsuits and government investigations. Pastors who refuse to perform gay marriage and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate crime charges. All dissent will be silenced."
Starnes went on to predict that Christians all over the nation will rise up in defiance of the ruling because if they are "given the choice of obeying God or the government, I believe Christians will obey God even if there is Hell to pay."
Fox News commentator Todd Starnes interviewed Franklin Graham today about the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states, which Graham decried because "our government is recognizing sin" and it will lead to the persecution of Christians and God unleashing His judgment upon America.
While it is a sad day for America when the Supreme Court will "endorse sin," Graham vowed that "I will never recognize it in my heart" because "God gave us marriage and God does not change his mind."
Graham went on to warn Christians that "you had better be ready and you had better be prepared" because the wholesale persecution of Christianity will now be unleashed, as will, ultimately, God's judgment on this nation.
"I do believe that God's judgment will come on this nation," he said, noting that just as God brought judgment upon the nation of Israel in the Bible, so too will He bring judgment on America.
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that state bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional, effectively legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states.
Needless to say, anti-gay Religious Right activists and Republican politicians who have repeatedly warned that such a ruling would literally destroy America have not reacted well, as exemplified by Bryan Fischer, who fired off a series of tweets declaring that Satan is now dancing in the streets of America:
June 26, 2015: a date which will live in infamy.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 26, 2015
From a moral standpoint, 6/26 is now our 9/11.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 26, 2015
June 26, 2015: the day the twin towers of truth and righteousness were blown up by moral jihadists.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 26, 2015
June 26, 2015: I saw Satan dancing with delight, the day the music died in the United States of America.— Bryan Fischer (@BryanJFischer) June 26, 2015
Other anti-gay activists were equally outraged:
This decision will go down in infamy. It is a devastating blow to the legitimacy of the S.Ct. It is also a blow to the First Amendment.— E.W. Jackson (@ewjacksonsr) June 26, 2015
How many millions of voters were disenfranchised by #SCOTUS declaring, in its folly, a fundamental right to "marriage" based on perversion?— Peter LaBarbera (@PeterLaBarbera) June 26, 2015
If you thought the cultural purge over the Confederate flag was breathtaking -- wait until you see what LGBT activists do with Christians.— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) June 26, 2015
Let the persecution begin in earnest. I weep for our children.— Austin Ruse (@austinruse) June 26, 2015
Anti-gay Republican presidential hopefuls were quick to weigh in:
"The Supreme Court has spoken with a very divided voice on something only the Supreme Being can do-redefine marriage. I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch. We must resist and reject judicial tyranny, not retreat.
"This ruling is not about marriage equality, it's about marriage redefinition. This irrational, unconstitutional rejection of the expressed will of the people in over 30 states will prove to be one of the court's most disastrous decisions, and they have had many. The only outcome worse than this flawed, failed decision would be for the President and Congress, two co-equal branches of government, to surrender in the face of this out-of-control act of unconstitutional, judicial tyranny."
"The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature's God on marriage than it can the law of gravity. Under our Constitution, the court cannot write a law, even though some cowardly politicians will wave the white flag and accept it without realizing that they are failing their sworn duty to reject abuses from the court. If accepted by Congress and this President, this decision will be a serious blow to religious liberty, which is the heart of the First Amendment."
Governor Jindal said, “The Supreme Court decision today conveniently and not surprisingly follows public opinion polls, and tramples on states’ rights that were once protected by the 10th Amendment of the Constitution. Marriage between a man and a woman was established by God, and no earthly court can alter that.
This decision will pave the way for an all out assault against the religious freedom rights of Christians who disagree with this decision. This ruling must not be used as pretext by Washington to erode our right to religious liberty.
The government should not force those who have sincerely held religious beliefs about marriage to participate in these ceremonies. That would be a clear violation of America’s long held commitment to religious liberty as protected in the First Amendment.
I will never stop fighting for religious liberty and I hope our leaders in D.C. join me.”
Today, five unelected justices decided to redefine the foundational unit that binds together our society without public debate or input. Now is the people’s opportunity respond because the future of the institution of marriage is too important to not have a public debate. The Court is one of three co-equal branches of government and, just as they have in cases from Dred Scott to Plessy, the Court has an imperfect track record. The stakes are too high and the issue too important to simply cede the will of the people to five unaccountable justices.
“But leaders don’t accept bad decisions that they believe harm the country, they have the courage of their convictions and lead the country down the better path. Marriage, the family and our children are too central to a healthy society to not fight for what is best. I realized that fact early on and that is why I lead the charge against some in my own party in 2004 to ensure the Federal Marriage Amendment received a vote and I continue to stand for marriage, for families, for freedom.
“As President, I will be committed to using the bully pulpit of the White House to lead a national discussion on the importance to our economy and our culture of mothers and fathers entering into healthy marriages so that every child is given their birthright- to be raised by their mother and father in a stable, loving home. I will stand for the preservation of religious liberty and conscience, to believe what you are called to believe free from persecution. And I will ensure that the people will have a voice in decisions that impact the rock upon which our civilization is built.”
I believe this Supreme Court decision is a grave mistake. Five unelected judges have taken it upon themselves to redefine the institution of marriage, an institution that the author of this decision acknowledges “has been with us for millennia.”
In 2006 I, like millions of Americans, voted to amend our state constitution to protect the institution of marriage from exactly this type of judicial activism. The states are the proper place for these decisions to be made, and as we have seen repeatedly over the last few days, we will need a conservative president who will appoint men and women to the Court who will faithfully interpret the Constitution and laws of our land without injecting their own political agendas.
As a result of this decision, the only alternative left for the American people is to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the ability of the states to continue to define marriage.
Anti-gay Religious Right organizations, like the Family Research Council, likewise vowed never to accept this ruling:
"Five justices on the Supreme Court have overturned the votes of 50 million Americans and demanded that the American people walk away from millennia of history and the reality of human nature.
“In reaching a decision so lacking in foundation in the text of the Constitution, in our history, and in our traditions, the Court has done serious damage to its own legitimacy.
“No court can overturn natural law. Nature and Nature’s God, hailed by the signers of our Declaration of Independence as the very source of law, cannot be usurped by the edict of a court, even the United States Supreme Court.
“Marriage is rooted not only in human history, but also in the biological and social reality that children are created by, and do best when raised by, a mother and a father. No court ruling can alter this truth.
“It is folly for the Court to think that it has resolved a controversial issue of public policy. By disenfranchising 50 million Americans, the Court has instead supercharged this issue.
"Just as with Roe v. Wade in 1973, the courts will not have the final say on this profound social matter. The American people will stand up for their right to have a voice and a vote, especially as they experience the ways in which redefining marriage fundamentally impairs their freedom to live and work in accordance with their beliefs.
“With this ruling, the Supreme Court has set our government on a collision course with America’s cherished religious freedoms, explicitly guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution.
“Americans will not stop standing for transcendent truth, nor accept the legitimacy of this decision. Truth is not decided by polls or the passage of time, but by the One who created time and everything that exists therein.
“We will not lapse into silence but will continue to speak uncompromisingly for the truth about what marriage is, always has been, and always will be: the union of one man and one woman,” concluded [Tony] Perkins.
Though expected, today's decision is completely illegitimate. We reject it and so will the American people. It represents nothing but judicial activism, legislating from the bench, with a bare majority of the Justices on the Supreme Court exercising raw political power to impose their own preferences on marriage when they have no constitutional authority to do so. It is a lawless ruling that contravenes the decisions of over 50 million voters and their elected representatives. It is a decision that is reminiscent of other illegitimate Court rulings such as Dred Scott and Roe v Wade and will further plunge the Supreme Court into public disrepute.
Make no mistake about it: The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and countless millions of Americans do not accept this ruling. Instead, we will work at every turn to reverse it.
The US Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today's ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority.
In his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail," Dr. Martin Luther King discussed the moral importance of disobeying unjust laws, which we submit applies equally to unjust Supreme Court decisions. Dr. King evoked the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas that an unjust law or decision is one that is "a human law that is not rooted in eternal law or natural law."
Today's decision of the Supreme Court lacks both constitutional and moral authority. There is no eternal or natural law that allows for marriage to be redefined.
“This morning’s ruling rejects not only thousands of years of time-honored marriage but also the rule of law in the United States,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “In states across the nation, voters acted through the democratic process to protect marriage and the family. Yet, courts around the country chose to disregard the will of the people in favor of political correctness and social experimentation. And we witnessed firsthand the consequences, as individuals were repeatedly targeted by the government for not actively supporting homosexual marriage. Sadly, our nation’s highest Court, which should be a symbol of justice, has chosen instead to be a tool of tyranny, elevating judicial will above the will of the people.
“There is no doubt that this morning’s ruling will imperil religious liberty in America, as individuals of faith who uphold time-honored marriage and choose not to advocate for same-sex unions will now be viewed as extremists. But to the Court, we send this unequivocal message: We will continue to uphold God’s plan for marriage between one man and one woman, and we call on all Christians to continue to pray for the nation, and for those whose religious liberties will be directly impacted by this ruling.”
In the years leading up to the landmark SCOTUS case, voters in 31 states had acted through the democratic process to uphold marriage and the family. Yet, same-sex marriage was legalized in 36 states, due in large part to overreaching judges who chose to disregard the will of the people and cater to those who advocate for homosexuality.
Today goes down in history as the day nine unelected judges kicked the Constitution to the curb — overturning traditional marriage — and put your religious freedom dangerously at risk.
The decision is in. The justices have ruled. Marriage will be redefined to conform to the pro-LGBT view of marriage.
In one appalling decision, the Supreme Court has effectively opened the door to the criminalization of Christianity when it comes to the marriage issue ... and not just Christianity, but every major religion that supports God’s model for marriage and family.
Once again, five Supreme Court justices have invented a right that is nowhere mentioned or implied in the U.S. Constitution. Instead of allowing the states the right to make decisions about marriage, these judges have elected to impose their will on the nation.
Moreover, their reasoning is sociologically illiterate. The idea that marriage is a matter of individual autonomy—and not a social institution—is the most profound flaw in their ruling. In their mind, society is composed of monads.
For people of faith, this decision is ominous. On p. 27, the majority declares that religious Americans “may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned.” It is nice to know they respect our First Amendment right to freedom of speech.
“The First Amendment,” the five justices say, “ensures that religious organizations and persons are given proper protection as they seek to teach the principles that are so fulfilling and so central to their lives….” That’s the best they can do? Justice Clarence Thomas, in his dissent, rightly criticizes this genuflection to religious rights. “Religious liberty,” he says, “is about freedom of action in matters of religion generally”—it is not confined to advocacy.
In order to stop the IRS from revoking the tax-exempt status of religious institutions that refuse to marry two men or two women, Congress needs to pass the First Amendment Defense Act that was introduced last week. Nothing less is acceptable.
In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court recognized the Constitutional right of same-sex couples to be legally married.
“Today’s decision is a landmark for Justice,” said People For the American Way Foundation President Michael Keegan. “It’s a proud moment for our country and a testament to the decades of work done by millions of people to guarantee gay and lesbian people aren’t excluded from our Constitution’s promise of fairness and equal justice for all people.”
“This decision should be celebrated by everyone who cares about equality for LGBT people,” said Keegan. “But it shouldn’t obscure the fact that we have a long way to go before we’ve truly achieved that goal. Gay and lesbian couples will be able to get married in all fifty states thanks to this decision, but in 29 of those states those same couples can be fired from their jobs the moment they step out of the closet. Members of the LGBT community, especially transgender people, still face violence and intimidation simply because of who they are. Perhaps most notably, anti-gay activists are already at work trying to expand the ability of corporations and individuals to discriminate against gay couples in the name of ‘religious liberty.’
“Make no mistake: today’s decision is one for the history books. We have a lot to celebrate today. But we also have plenty of work left to do.”
Anti-gay Religious Right activist and Virginia GOP politician E.W. Jackson stopped by Colorado Republican state legislator Gordon Klingenschmitt's "Pray In Jesus Name" program recently to discuss his theory that the murder of nine black churchgoers by a white supremacist gunman in South Carolina was not primarily a racist hate crime but was rather an attack on Christianity
While acknowledging that the shooter "was motivated by race," Jackson was careful to point out that the fact that the attack took place in a church means that "this is clearly another attack on Christians and Christianity."
"There's increasing hostility against Christians because of the biblical positions that we're taking in this sort of post-Christian world that we're starting to live in and we're starting to experience in our country," Jackson said.
Klingenschmitt then added that the shooter, Dylann Roof, was "demon possessed," which prompted Jackson to declare that the shooting "was a demonic spiritual act."
"We, as Christians, understand that there is more behind this than just a human being going in an attacking other human beings because of their race," Jackson said. "The fact that he did it in a church, we know is a satanic or demonic act."
Klingenschmitt and Jackson, apparently under the bizarre impression that the Nazis were liberals, then went on to assert that Roof, who had cited the work of the right-wing Council of Conservative Citizens in his racist manifesto, had "socialist leanings" and was a left-wing radical because he embraced Nazi imagery and slogans.
"Hitler was not a right-wing person, he was not a conservative," Jackson declared. "Hitler was a socialist ... So when people see these symbols and want to somehow associate it with conservatives, they're completely wrong because that is simply not the history of socialism, which is exactly what Hitler called his party, the National Socialist Party."
"Unfortunately," he continued, "we have a very strong left-wing cabal in this country that are really extreme statists who want the state to control everything and it's a very dangerous place to go."
Glenn Beck opened his television program last night by declaring that "it's time to go now" because everything he has been warning about for the last decare is now all coming to fruition.
Beck said that he sat all of his children down on Sunday night and told them that "now is the time, kids, this is the time that I have been preparing you for almost your whole life now, since September 11th. This is the time."
He then went on to discuss the latest execution video released by ISIS in which several men were drowned in a cage, while others were executed by having explosives wrapped around their necks. Falsely claiming that the men featured in this video were killed because they were Christians — in reality, they were accused of being spies — Beck warned that "the time of sorrows" has begun and would soon make its way to America.
As evidence, Beck pointed to the firing of Atlanta fire chief Kelvin Cochran, whom he falsely claimed lost his job simply for opposing same-sex marriage at church, insisting that he "was never preaching this at work." That, of course, is entirely untrue, as Cochran was fired explicitly for promoting his anti-gay views at work.
Beck continued with his misinformation campaign by then repeating his likewise untrue claim that the University of California has banned phrases such as "America is a melting pot," before inevitably warning that all of this can only end in death.
"When you get down to banning ideas, the next step is banning books," Beck warned. "First step. They soften the ground, biblical views can get you fired, expressing the idea of merit is bad. What's next? I will tell you: book burnings, and re-education, and death. That's not something I'm predicting, that's not something I'm projecting, that's not something I'm cheering for, I'm not using hyperbole, I'm looking solely at history."
In a 5-4 decision today, the Supreme Court upheld the use of disparate impact analysis under the Fair Housing Act, which allows fair housing and Civil Rights advocates to show that government actions disproportionately harm affected communities instead of being required to find a “smoking gun” proving that intentional discrimination occurred. The Court also upheld the clear intent of Congress in allocating subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, dismissing a partisan attempt to undermine the law.
“Today’s ruling in the Fair Housing Act case is an important win for fair housing and for equality under the law,” said Michael Keegan, President of People For the American Way Foundation. “The Fair Housing Act was passed into law just days after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King and it stands as a tribute to his work and legacy. As last week’s murders in Charleston make perfectly clear, our nation’s long struggle with racism is far from over. But not all racism is so easily identified. Today’s decision means we still have a powerful tool to advocate for justice in one of the most critical areas of our nation’s public policy.
“The Court’s ruling in King v. Burwell is unquestionably the correct one, but in a sane court system, there’s no way this case would have made it to the Court, let alone received the support of three Justices. This decision should be a reminder of how much is at stake in our nation’s highest Court, and how critical it is that Americans consider the Supreme Court as we choose our next president.”
On today's "Faith and Freedom" radio program, Matt Barber declared that the persecution of Christians is on the rise in America and around the world because secular progressives, gay rights activists, and ISIS are blind to the fact that they are the pawns of Satan.
"We also need to be praying for those who are persecutors, for Islamists, for secular progressives because, as Ephesians 6:12 says, 'Our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm,'" Barber said. "These people don't even realize that they're being used as pawns in the spiritual war."
"Even though they can deny God," he continued, "Satan loves that they can deny the existence of God, or they'll even deny his existence. They don't realize that they're vulnerable to being used ... They don't even realize that healing is available, that salvation is available, that eternal life is available through Christ and through Christ alone because they are blinded and their hearts are hardened."